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What is the Assessor's Office required to do?
The duty of the Assessor is to "Discover, List, and Value" all real property for ad valorem taxation purposes.
The total valuation of all property, as estimated by the County Assessor, is certified to the State and County and approved by the Colorado Division of Property Taxation. Valuation of the various school districts and of towns and incorporated districts are certified to their respective boards.
After the levies are certified to the Assessor, it is then his duty to extend the tax on all property assessed and direct the County Treasurer to collect them.
How does the Assessor establish value?
In Colorado, the assessment date is January 1 of each year for taxes payable the following year. For residential properties, the Assessor must estimate the actual Market value. This is based on style, amenities, location, etc., and is then compared to similar properties that have sold during a 24-month time span. Those sales nearest to the end of the 24-month period would be the most representative. Keep in mind that residential properties can only be valued by the Market approach 39-1-103(5)(a) C.R.S. For most non-residential property, the Assessor considers comparable sales information, as well as the Cost and Income approaches to value.
How do I know the actual value the Assessor has placed on property I own?
Pursuant to Colorado law, reassessment occurs every two years (odd numbered years.) Unless your property has changed in some way (e.g. you've finished your basement, added or removed a garage, completed an addition, etc.) your property value would remain unchanged for the intervening (even numbered) year. In May of reassessment years, all property owners are sent a Notice of Valuation (NOV). For intervening years, only properties that have experienced a change will receive an NOV. THIS IS NOT A TAX BILL! The purpose of the NOV is to inform you of any increase or decrease in your property valuation and advise you of your right to Appeal the new value.
What if I disagree with the total actual value of the property?
You may fill out the real property Appeal form on the reverse side of your Notice of Valuation (also available on our web site) or you may contact the Assessor's Office in writing. Keep in mind that residential properties may only be valued by the Market approach. You should inform the Assessor what you believe the value of your property to be, along with three comparables or similar properties supporting that value.
Where do I find comparables?
All property sales should be recorded with the Clerk & Recorder's Office. This information is then given to the Assessor's Office. The recorded sales are considered public information and this office will be happy to assist you in obtaining the necessary sales data. A real estate office is another good source of information on sold properties. Comparable information may also be found on our Parcel Record Search page, located at:( http://land.elpasoco.com/ )
My Notice of Valuation is divided into land value and improvement value, though I didn't make any improvements. Why?
"Improvement" is the terminology used by the Division of Property Taxation to identify everything added to or put on the land, such as buildings. If you have made no changes to an existing structure but you still have an increase, this would reflect the market showing an increase in value. Appeals are for the total actual value, rather than the individual value of land or improvements.
I agree with the total actual value, but I'm afraid my taxes will go up accordingly. Should I Appeal?
No. The Assessor's Office has no control over tax rates. The assessment rate is set by the State Legislature. Mill levies are set each year by taxing authorities. The mill levy is the total percentage of each tax bill going to schools, fire districts, water and sanitation districts, library districts, governmental agencies, and other special districts that provide services to the area in which your property is located. Each tax district differs. The following example of computing taxes is based on a hypothetical assessment rate and mill levy.
$150,000 (Market Value) x .0796 (Current Residential Assessment Rate) = $11,940 (Assessed Value)
$11,940 (Assessed Value) x .054454 (hypothetical Mill Rate) = $650.18 (Estimated Taxes Due)
$150,000 (Market Value) x .290 (Non-Residential Assessment Rate) = $43,500 (Assessed Value)
$43,500 (Assessed Value) x .054454 (hypothetical Mill Rate) = $2368.75 (Estimated Taxes Due)
When do I Appeal my total value?
Notices of Valuation are mailed May 1. Please read the notice carefully. There are specific dates for mailing, faxing, Internet filing, and hand-delivering your Appeal.
Is the month of May the only time I can Appeal my valuation?
No. While the month of May is the "Formal" Appeal period, the Assessor's Office is always available to review property records and discuss any questions or concerns regarding property value or classification. The Assessor's Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Remember, the function of the Assessor's Office is to correctly value properties within the County.
What is the Taxpayers responsibility?
If the Notice of Valuation reflects a value with which you disagree or if you have questions about the valuation, contact your County Assessor. Do not wait until you receive your tax bill the following January!
What happens after I Appeal?
There is no presumption in favor of the Assessor's value, therefore, the Assessor and taxpayer are on a equal playing field. (1992 Tabor 8c)
The Assessor must consider any information presented by the taxpayer before deciding whether an adjustment in value is warranted.
The Assessor will review your Appeal and respond to you in writing by the end of June with a Notice of Determination (NOD.) However, if having first filed an Appeal with the Assessor, you find you do not agree with the decision, you may continue your Appeal to the County Board of Equalization (CBOE) on or before July 15. Their office is located at:
Deputy Clerk to the Board El Paso County Board of Equalization 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road Colorado Springs, CO 80907
If you are dissatisfied with the decision returned by the CBOE:
You may continue your Appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA), or to the District Court of the county in which the property is located, or to the County Commissioners for Binding Arbitration. You must Appeal the CBOE decision within 30 days.
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the BAA or District Court:
You may Appeal to the Court of Appeals within 30 days of a BAA decision or 45 days of a District Court decision.
What about decisions reached through Arbitration?
Decisions reached through the Arbitration procedure are final and not subject to review.