Colorado homeowners have recently received notices of their property assessments, revealing significant increases in home values across the state. Unfortunately, these higher valuations are expected to lead to substantial property tax hikes in the coming year. As a result, homeowners are filing appeals in record numbers to challenge their property assessments. This article will explore the best strategies to appeal your property valuation successfully and potentially lower your tax burden.
Understanding the Appeal Process:
- Property Valuation Calculation: A mass-modeling algorithm determines Your property value using data from comparable homes sold in your neighborhood. However, individual properties are not examined during this calculation.
- The Appeal: When you file an appeal, an appraiser will review your specific property and assess comparable sales based on your house and neighborhood.
- Free of Charge: Filing an appeal does not require any fees. However, the success rate for requests is typically less than 50%.
- Deadline: The deadline to file an appeal is June 8. If you miss this deadline, you have until January 2026 to file an abatement petition, which could lead to a refund of already paid property taxes.
- Filing Options: You can file your appeal online, by mail, or in person. Each county provides instructions on its website for the appeal process.
- Adams County: org/appeals-process
- Arapahoe County: com/36yjdbjc
- Boulder County: com/2p8tbsz5
- Broomfield: com/2p9bch9m
- Denver: com/4ryjsr6f
- Douglas County:co.us/assessor/appeals
- Jefferson County: us/431/Appeals
Critical Strategies for a Successful Appeal:
- Understand the Basis of Your Appeal: Your property valuation is based on your home’s value as of June 30, 2022. Arguing that home values have dropped in the past 11 months will not strengthen your case. Instead, focus on the condition of your home and provide evidence of comparable sales during that time.
- Verify Property Records: Check your assessor’s office’s records for any inaccuracies in the property details, such as square footage, garages, basements, and other relevant information. Correcting these mistakes can support your appeal.
- Provide Additional Information: Highlight any issues that decrease your property’s value but are not apparent on the exterior, such as a sinking basement or foundation cracks. Also, document any outdated or depreciated features in your home, like 1980s-era appliances or obsolete fixtures.
- Select Comparable Sales: Choose three to five comparable home sales that support your case. You don’t need to create elaborate spreadsheets, as assessors already possess this information and will use it to evaluate your appeal.
- Seek Assistance and Clarification: County assessors and real estate brokers can answer your questions regarding property values and the appeals process. Contact them to gather insights about fair property values in your area.
- Be Patient: Assessors are currently overwhelmed with appeals and inquiries. Kindness and understanding can help streamline the process.
- Response Timeline: Most counties respond to appeals by June 30, while others have until August 15. Check with your specific county for the exact deadline.
- Further Appeals: If you disagree with the response from the county assessor, you can escalate your case to the county Board of Equalization, the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals, your county’s district court, or even binding arbitration.
- Consider the Bigger Picture: Property valuation is just one factor in calculating property taxes. Local taxing authorities determine tax rates, known as mill levies. Engage with elected officials to express your concerns and encourage them to lower their levies if necessary.
Following these strategies and understanding the appeal process can increase your chances of a successful property assessment appeal and potentially lower your tax burden. Stay proactive and take control of your property taxes.