2019 is an odd numbered year and that means new tax assessments.  

Notice of Valuations for all properties, except personal property, are sent out May 1st, so you should have already received yours. As Colorado homeowners are receiving their new Tax Assessments, many are surprised that the value of their home - and their new tax assessment - has increased drastically since 2017.

How is Property Tax Calculated?

The calculation of property tax is: Market Value of Property x Assessment Rate x Mill Levy = Property Tax

The most subjective part of this process is determining the properties “Market Value”.  

The tax assessor’s office will look at market sales over the past 2 years in calculating the Market Value of the property.  For 2019 the sales that will be used to calculate market values will be sales that occurred July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. However, if insufficient data existed during that time frame, data from each preceding six-month period (up to a period of five years preceding June 30, 2018) may be utilized. Property values along the Front Range have continued to rise, so don’t be surprised to see some annual tax increases. Did you know that you, as a Colorado homeowner, can dispute this valuation? Property owners have the right to review the County Assessor’s property records and to file an appeal with the County Assessor. Contact a West + Main agent for help with this process.

What is the Assessment Rate?  

Tax rates in Colorado do not apply to market value but to the assessed value, which is equal to a fraction of the market value. That fraction, the residential assessment rate, is recalculated regularly by the state. For tax years 2017 and 2018, it is 7.20% (for tax year 2016, the rate was 7.96%). So, even though Colorado has some of the lowest residential property taxes in the country, (the average effective tax rate statewide is just 0.57%) and the typical homeowner in Colorado pays less than 1% of his or her home value in taxes every year, it can still end up being a substantial bill.

What is the Mill Levy?  

The Mill Levy is the “tax rate” that is applied to the assessed value of a property. One cmil is one dollar per $1,000 dollars of assessed value. It consists of a local portion which is used to fund area services and a statewide portion which is used to fund public schools. Every year, county commissioners, city councils, school boards, and special districts hold public budget hearings to determine how many dollars will be needed for the following year’s operations. The required revenues are then divided by the total assessed value on real property to determine the Mill Levy (also called tax rate) per entity. Each residential property has a specific Mill Levy assigned to it based on its location and public utility structure.

The most subjective portion of the tax assessment is the “market value” of your home.  

How do you dispute your property valuation?

+ If you disagree with the actual value or classification placed on your property, you may present oral or written objections to the assessor.

+ The assessor must make a decision on your protest and mail a Notice of Determination to you by the last regular working day in June for real property.

+ If you are dissatisfied with the assessor’s decision, you may appeal to the county board of equalization by July 15th.

+ The county board conducts hearings through August 5th.

+ The county board must notify you in writing within five business days of the date of its decision.

+ If you are dissatisfied with the county board’s decision, you may appeal to an arbitrator, district court, or the Board of Assessment Appeals within 30 days of the date the decision was mailed.

Here is some more detailed information from the Division of Property Taxation:

Protests for real property must be postmarked or delivered to the assessor on or before June 1!


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