April showers bring May property tax valuations in Colorado. Notices of Valuation were sent out by the Summit County Assessor’s office on May 1st. I suggest you sit down before you open the mail and see your new property valuation and estimated 2023 property tax bill. Values have gone up substantially since the last valuation two years ago. Unfortunately, that means 2023 property taxes will be doing the same.
New property valuations
Every two years, on the odd year, Colorado assessors re-evaluate property values and send out new valuations. When determining value, the assessor’s office can look at sales up to five years old and nothing more recent than June of 2022. The only time five year old sales data would be relevant is if there aren’t enough more recent sales to determine value. Ideally, they use an 18 month period for the property valuations. This year’s preferred sales data is from Jan 2021 to June 2022. With the surging property values and high number of sales in 2021, those older sales won’t matter one bit. Notices were sent out May 1st. If you haven’t received your new 2023 property tax valuation yet, look it up now on the Summit County website. If you don’t know your schedule number, shoot us an email or text and we can look it up for you pretty quickly. It is also available on your past tax bills or valuations
No limit on 2023 property tax increase
Recently, Colorado voters chose to repeal the Gallagher Amendment that limited how much property taxes could increase. After these 2023 property tax valuations, voters will likely be wishing that amendment was still in place. Knowing property taxes are going to jump sharply across the state, Colorado lawmakers are looking into a new provision that will cut the 2023 anticipated tax increase roughly in half. Of course, at this point, that is not a sure thing and property owners need to expect to pay the amount of the estimated taxes next year when they come due. However, senior and military exemptions, along with any other reductions that owners already have in place should still apply.
If you own a vacant lot next to your home, property taxes on the vacant land will be higher than a developed lot. It may be possible to vacate the lot line, thereby eliminating the vacant lot, and reduce your total tax bill. Talk to the town or county where your property is located to discuss this option. If you go this route, it is important that you know the pros and cons of this action before proceeding. It’s hard to stay up to date on the ever changing rules in each governing body. As a result, we can’t tell you for sure about all the pros and cons to this action. We can help to point out potential issues and questions you should be asking.
Appealing Summit County valuations
As in years past, it’s possible to challenge Summit County property valuations. There is a small window to get your appeal in. Plan to submit the appeal between May 1st and June 8th, 2023. The assessor’s office will make a decision on the appeal by June 30th. If you choose to appeal your valuation follow all of the assessor’s rules to a T and keep these things in mind:
- Of course, using relevant data is the most important item. Summit County provides the sales data they use for your property’s value. If there are more relevant sales during the appropriate time frame, perhaps an appeal is worth trying. Contact us if you need to find sales data during the appropriate period. We can provide that information to you relatively easily.
- Base your arguments on facts not opinion. If a home has been remodeled and yours is original, that’s a fact that should have an impact on value. If you think it’s not right for your property taxes to increase $1500/year, that’s an opinion that has no impact on value. Think about how you frame your value arguments.
- If you bought your home between Jan 2021 and June 2022, your value will likely be close to your purchase price. If so, it will be hard to argue the valuation is incorrect.
Even if you appeal your Summit County property valuation, expect a substantial increase in the taxes you have been paying. Real estate sales prices increased dramatically during the last two years. That will no doubt be felt in the 2023 property tax bills no matter what.