[Published Jan. 22, 2015, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section]
Last June, I reminded readers that real estate property taxes are based on what each property would have sold for on June 30 of each even-numbered year. Since home prices were surging last spring, it looked like values for June 30, 2014, would be dramatically higher than they were for June 30, 2012, so you could expect that this year’s valuation — which you’ll receive on May 1st — will be higher, resulting in a higher property tax bill in spring 2016 and 2017.
Last week it was reported by Colorado’s Division of Property Taxation that residential values had jumped 14.3 percent statewide over that 2-year period, and that commercial property values had jumped 9.4 percent.
While the tax rate (known as the mill levy) can only be raised by a vote of the people, the valuation of your home against which the mill levy is applied can and does change based on the sale of comparable properties. The state constitution mandates that each county assessor determine the actual full value of each property as of June 30th of each even numbered year based on the sale of comparable properties. In May you’ll get a letter from the assessor saying what the new valuation of your home is, and you’ll be given the opportunity to appeal that valuation in a somewhat complicated process which I will explain in a column I’ll publish in May.