Property Valuation Process

State and County

Colorado state law provides for a two-year assessment cycle for all property. 2019 is the first year in the cycle and it is also called the reappraisal year for the that two-year time period – 2019-2020. For the second year in the cycle, 2020, most property will be valued the same as for the initial year (2019) unless there has been a physical change to the property.

The Assessor for each county mails each property owner a Notice of Valuation which outlines the actual value of your property for both the current year and the prior year on or about May 1. This notice reflects the value of your property as of January 1, 2019. The actual value of your property at that time will be based on comparable sales, appraisal data and other information from the 24-month period from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018.

Relationship to Property Taxes

Please note that the County Assessor does not strictly determine your taxes. Your tax rate, also called the mill levy, is set by each individual taxing entity. These entities are your County, any incorporated municipality, your local school district and various special districts (e.g. Fire District) which provides services in the community in which a property is located.

Your property valuation however is used in a calculation which indirectly determines how much you pay in taxes. After your evaluation is determined, an assessment rate is applied to the actual value of your property. This assessment rate is 7.2% for residential property and is 29% for commercial, industrial and vacant land. The equation for calculating your property taxes are:

actual value x assessment rate x total mill levy = total taxes to be paid

Protests

You have the right to protest your property valuation. This year, your protest to the County Assessor must be made by June 3. More detail on the time period and dates for this appeal process and when a decision by the County Assessor on your initial appeal will be made (and the possibility of a of further appeal) is included in the property valuation tab (link).

As noted in the first paragraph, the actual value for your property in the second year of the assessment cycle (in this case 2020) will be the same as outlined in your Notice of Valuation unless some physical change occurs to your property. So, please examine this Notice of Valuation. If you are not happy with it, Rocky Mountain Property Tax Consultants, Inc. can look at comparable sales and other information. We can also examine the information the Assessor has listed for your property and make sure it is accurate, including year built, total square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms etc.

Assessment Rates

You may be aware that residential property has an assessment rate of 7.2% while commercial, industrial and vacant property has an assessment rate of 29%. This percentage differential is required by the State Constitution to maintain a certain balance of the tax burden between residential properties and other properties. The residential percentage could be changed in odd-numbered years to maintain this ratio. For many years, the residential assessment rate was 7.96%. It was changed to 7.2% in 2017.

Finally, people often ask how the values of private property are determined during these 2-year reassessment cycles. The market approach, using comparable sales is utilized for Residential properties. The cost and income approach are most often used for commercial and industrial property.

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