[Published April 30, 2015, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers]
Tomorrow, May 1st, county assessors throughout Colorado, including ours, will mail a Notice of Valuation to every property owner in their county. If you own real estate, you’ll receive your notice on Saturday or Monday.
The state constitution mandates that property taxes be assessed based on a determination of what each property would have sold for on June 30 of every even numbered year. The constitution says that to determine the valuation of your property, the assessor may only consider comparable homes that actually sold during the 24 months prior to that June 30th date. Each assessor accomplishes this task using computer algorithms which determine which eligible sales to utilize in assigning a value to your home. Depending on how much earlier than June 30th each sale occurred, the value of that sale is “aged” to reflect any increase or decrease in likely sales price for that property as if it had, in fact, sold on June 30, 2014.
It’s good news for you that the value assigned to your real estate is based on last June 30th, given how much values have increased since then. And that 2014 value is what your tax rate will be applied against not only for 2015’s taxes (due next April) but also for 2016’s property taxes due in April 2017.
Nevertheless, be prepared for an increase in valuation over June 30, 2012, and a proportionate increase in your property taxes. The Jeffco Assessor has reported that the average increase in valuation (countywife) will be 20%.
As you probably know, the TABOR provisions of Colorado’s constitution require a vote to raise tax rates, but your property taxes will go up based on increased valuation and not because of any increase in the mill levy.
Once you receive the Notice of Valuation on your home (or other real estate), you’ll have only until June 1st to appeal the valuation of your property. Remember, however, that the only basis on which you can make that appeal is by selecting comparable sales from among those sales that occurred during that 24-month period ending on June 30, 2014.
Next week I will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to do that search on the Jeffco assessor’s website and how to file your appeal before that June 1st deadline.
If you have questions about appealing the valuation of your house, please wait to read my column next week before calling or writing me. Then I’ll be happy to advise you!