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El Paso County 2015 Single Family Reappraisal Map
(Single Family Residential Average Market Value Change 2014 – 2015)
2015 Sales Data:
2015 Reappraisal- Commercial & Multi-Family Sales 07/2012 through 06/2014
2015 Reappraisal- Residential Sales 07/2012 through 06/2014
2015 Reappraisal- Vacant Land Sales 07/2012 through 06/2014
Odd-numbered years are "reappraisal years" in the State of Colorado, when all real property is reviewed and new values are put in place for ad valorem taxation purposes. In 2016, El Paso County reported a total of 248,318 active real property parcels (including mobile homes). The number of parcels necessitates "mass-appraisal" be used in estimating the value of each property.
All Real Property appraisal begins with the land:
The EPC Assessor's Office has three Land Appraisers on staff, responsible for making sure the land information on all 248,000+ parcels is correct and up-to-date.
Topography is always of prime importance, especially in the mountainous areas of the county, where current and future access can be questionable. Parcels sitting side-by-side may be so affected by topography that one lot is "buildable" while the one next door may never be a building site due to the extreme nature of the land.
Agricultural land, predominantly in the eastern part of the county, must be monitored closely. There is strict criteria that must be met to qualify land for an agricultural classification. Most farmers and ranchers in our county maintain their property as full-time businesses and the property owners make their livlihood through the land. As such, the state has rigid agricultural guidelines in place ensuring that farmers and ranchers aren't placed in the same valuation category as city-dwellers, but are valued "apples-to-apples" with other agricultural property.
Commercial and Industrial land, as well as Natural Resources (Earth & Stone Mines, Mineral Interests, etc.) also have their own classifications and are compared with other like-use properties to estimate the land value.
After the land has been valued:
El Paso County's eight Residential Property appraisers have their hands full, ensuring that all new housing is added to the tax-rolls. They are also responsible for following up on building permits -- new garages, decks, finished basements, additions, alterations, etc., to ensure the inventory of the residence is current -- as well as following up on detrimental elements (demolitions, fires, or other possible obsolesence) that may possibly reveal the need to lower value on both new and existing properties. Ensuring that the property records are up-to-date and that the data they've collected is correct requires all eight residential appraisers be out "in the field" five days a week.
The Assessor's Office also has four Commercial and Industrial Appraisers on-staff, each responsible for different improvement uses. Commercial and Industrial property is valued by all three approaches to value: Cost, Income and Market. All three approaches are analyzed, with "like-use" properties compared against one another.
Huge commercial and industrial properties present a special challenge -- these large complexes don't go on the market often, making it difficult to find comparable sales. The Cost and Income approaches to value as well as the Market approach are used to help our appraisers estimate the property's worth.
Properties exempt from taxation fall into yet another category. These include property owned by the Federal, State, County and City governments, Schools, Churches, Charitable Organizations, etc. How a parcel is actually used, (rather than who owns it) plays a large part. A church for example, may own several properties -- but if the property isn't used for religious purposes it probably won't be considered exempt from taxation. An Application for Exemption must be filed with the State of Colorado, Division of Property Taxation for consideration as to their status. The property is then investigated by the Division and a determination is reached as to whether the property qualifies for exemption. While property classified as exempt may pay no taxes, it does still maintain a value and the same rules apply for estimating the value of these parcels.
El Paso County's twenty one Real Property staff appraisers have their hands full!
Oil and Gas/Drilling Rigs:
Oil and gas production companies and drilling rig owners must submit a Declaration Schedule yearly, listing the type and condition of equipment used on-site, quantities of oil and/or gas produced, or a description of the drilling rig and it's condition and time spent in the county, as applicable. The actual value of the property is estimated for assessment by appropriate consideration of the Cost Approach, the Sales Comparison (Market) Approach and the Income Approach.
Business Personal Property comes into play:
Businesses and organizations must submit a Declaration Schedule yearly, listing their portable or moveable items. Business Personal Property includes equipment, machinery, furniture, security devices, signage, etc. If the actual value of this property is estimated to be over $7,400.00, Business Personal Property tax would then be due on the assessed value.
Public Utility parcels statewide (railroads, telecommunication towers, etc.) are valued directly by the Division of Property Taxation.
Once the Assessment Rate has been set by the State of Colorado General Assembly, the Mill Rates determined, and the Assessor's appraisal staff have updated the information they've collected on the respective property records, it's the job of our Chief Appraiser to "pull it all together" by analyzing all the gathered data, and literally turning all the collected information into estimated values for each of the 248,000+ parcels in the county...an enormous undertaking, to say the least!
After the data has been collected:
The Colorado General Assembly sets the Assessment Rate (the percentage of the Actual Value upon which individual property taxes are calculated.) The individual Entities (county, city, school districts, library districts, water and sanitation districts, etc.) must determine how much revenue they will need to allow them to perform their duties -- the total percentage of revenue needed is the Mill Rate.
An Abstract of Assessment is then produced, outlining the total assessed value of each category of property and each use within those categories.