If you’ve opened your Real Notice of Property Valuation from the Assessor’s office, you have probably noticed that your property value has increased…in some cases quite significantly! Property values have increased by 17.6 percent statewide with values across the metro area showing even higher increases. Many neighborhoods are seeing record percentage increases with the biggest percentage gains in areas that experienced a larger or faster drop in property values during the recession. For example, northeast and southwest neighborhoods that were laden with foreclosures show some the largest increases in home prices – some areas are up as much as 51.5 percent! That’s a big change from the past two assessment cycles, when values dropped in many areas.
Denver County saw the largest increase in property values in the metro area with an average of 29.6 percent, followed by Arapahoe and Broomfield counties, which increased by 22 percent. The rest of the counties experienced the following average increases in residential property values:
- Boulder County – 20 %
- Jefferson County – 20 %
- Adams County – 19 %
- Douglas County – 18 %
- Elbert County – 10 %
New construction and overall growth of the Denver metro area were the greatest contributors to increases in property values. Although owners will not receive a property tax bill based on this valuation until next January they should prepare for higher property taxes in the years ahead. Tax increases won’t match the jump in values dollar for dollar, but individual tax levies won’t be known until protests wrap up in December and individual governments and districts figure out their budgets. Property taxes are determined by multiplying a property’s assessed value by the millage or mill rate which is set in December each year by the various taxing authorities. State laws and other voter-approved measures impact the mill rate that is eventually adopted by each taxing authority.
The current notices estimate values as of June 30, 2014 and those values will help determine property taxes paid in 2016 and 2017. By state law, county assessors are required to re-evaluate the value of every property in their counties every two years. The period for the 2015 valuation was July 2012 through June 2014.
Protesting property values for the 2015 tax year
If you disagree with the valuation and/or classification of you property, you do have the right to protest. A protest is the chance to demonstrate to the appraisal staff in the Assessor’s Office the assigned value or classification of your property is inaccurate, it is not a complaint about higher taxes. Your protest should provide evidence to support your position.
The deadline to file a protest is June 1, 2015.
Why would I appeal my property value?
- Incorrect property characteristics: explain discrepancies regarding property square footage, condition, bath count, use, etc. For example, your home has 1,600 square feet, not 2,000.
- Estimated value is to high: provide market data that shows similar properties have sold for less than the estimated market value of your property. Many of the Assessor’s websites have a list of property information on qualified sales. (see links below)
- Incorrect property classification: provide the corrected property classification based on the actual use as of January 1st of the year you are protesting.
What happens after I protest?
After a protest is submitted, it is assigned to a member of the appraisal staff who will review the information presented and make a determination. A determination can either be to:
- Adjust the assigned value/classification or
- Deny the appeal and retain the current assigned value
The Assessor will notify you of the determination.
If you are interested in appealing your assessed value, here are links to each county’s appeal process:
Property tax exemption for seniors and disabled veterans
A property tax exemption is available to qualifying senior citizens, surviving spouses of senior citizens and disabled veterans. For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 of actual value of the applicant’s primary residence is exempted. To learn more about qualifying and applying for this program, visit colorado.gov