Real Property

Real Property is revalued every odd-numbered year. Property tax calculations consist of several components: property classification, actual value of the property, assessment rate, assessed value and tax rate.

Property is classified according to it’s actual use as of January 1. The property’s classification determines the rate at which the property will be assessed.

Actual Value

Residential property is valued using only the market approach to value. In this approach, the value of the subject property is based on an analysis of the Comparable Sales.

For example; for tax years 2011 and 2012, the comparable properties must have been sold between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. However, if insufficient data existed during that time frame, as it did on our county, data from each preceding six month period (up to a period of five years preceding June 30, 2010) may be utilized. Because values dropped sharply during that time period, we also applied a time trend in a percentage used to adjust the sales price downward to ensure that all values were equal as of the June 30, 2010 cutoff date.

For property that is classified residential the current assessment rate is 7.96% of the market value (the actual value for residential properties). The assessment rate for most other types of property; vacant land, agricultural, commercial and personal property, is 29% of actual value.

Assessed Value

Multiplying the actual value by the appropriate assessment rate results in what is known as the property’s “assessed value”

Actual Value $275,000
Residential Assessment Rate x .0796
Assessed Value $ 21,890

Tax Rate

Each year, county commissioners, city councils, school boards, and governing bodies of special districts, also referred to a political subdivisions, determine the revenue needed to provide services the following year (taking into consideration the restrictions in revenue increases as outlined by TABOR).

Each political subdivision calculates a tax rate based on the revenue needed from property tax and the total assessed value of all real and personal property located within the political subdivisions’ boundaries. This tax rate is called a mill levy, because it is calculated in mills.

Revenue from property tax $1,398,000 ÷ total assessed value of $1,000,000,000 = .013980 or 13.980 mills. All of the tax rates/mill levy’s of the various taxing entities providing services in your tax area are added together to form the total tax rate/mill levy.

Here is a sample of how a total tax rate/mill levy is achieved.

County tax rate .013980
City tax rate .008752
School District tax rate .052116
Water & Sanitation tax rate .000693
Total tax rate .075541 or 75.541 mils

Public notices of budget hearings are published in the local newspaper. The public hearings are usually scheduled in September or October. By attending budget hearings, taxpayers may participate in the budget process and become informed about the quality and cost of services provided in their area.

The Assessor classifies and values the property. The various taxing entities determine the tax rate/mill levy.

Calculation of Property Tax

Actual Value $275,000
Residential Assessment Rate x .0796
Assessed Value $ 21,890
Tax Rate x .075541
Taxes Due $1,653.59

Notice of Valuation

Real Property Notices of valuation are mailed by no later than May 1 of each year, even though a revaluation only occurs every odd-numbered year. The notices list the location, classification, characteristics germane to the value, and the actual value of the property for both prior and current years.

Protest and Appeal Rights

If you disagree with the actual value or classification placed on your property, you may present oral or written objections to the Assessor. Protests for real property must be postmarked or delivered to the Assessor on or before June 1.

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 (CBOE) by July 15th for real property. The CBOE conducts hearings through August 5th. The CBOE must notify you within 5 business days of the hearing of it’s decision.

If you are dissatisfied with the CBOE decision, you have 3 avenues to pursue further. You may appeal to an arbitrator, district court or the Board of Assessment Appeals within 30 days of the date the decision was mailed.

These time lines are not negotiable. The only exception is if the Board of County Commissioners approves the Assessor’s request to use the extended time period for protest and appeals.