What is the function of the Assessor's Office?
Pursuant to Colorado State Statute C.R.S. Article 3, Title 39, all taxable and exempt property is valued by the county assessor valuation criteria as stipulated by statute and by using manuals, appraisal procedures, and instructions issued by the Property Tax Administrator. The total value as determined by the County Assessor is certified to the county entities and the state. Each entity certifies a mill levy to the Assessor and then it is the duties of the Assessor to extend the tax on all property assessed and direct the County Treasurer to collect the taxes.
How does the Assessor establish value?
All property, real and personal, located in the State of Colorado on the assessment date, January 1, is taxable unless expressly exempted by the Constitution or state statutes. Article X, Section 3, Colorado Constitution, and 39-1-102 (16), C.R.S.
Most property in Colorado is valued using the three approaches to value: the market approach, the cost approach, and the income approach. The exceptions to the three approaches include residential real property (market only), agricultural land, and natural resource land (special valuation procedures based on productivity and production).
The market, cost, and income data that county assessors use to apply the appropriate approaches to value is collected during specific periods prescribed by statute and represent a certain "level of value".
Property taxes are not calculated on the "full actual value" as determined by the assessor. Instead, an assessment percentage is applied according to the classification of the property. 39-1-104(1) and (1.5), C.R.S. Residential property is assessed at a percentage of the actual value, currently, this percentage is 7.2% while most other property is assessed at 29%.
How do I know the actual value the assessor has determined my property to be?
A property owner must be sent a notice of valuation (NOV) every year. This notice must be mailed no later than May 1. In the language of the notice is stated the actual value that the assessor has assigned to your property. This notice of valuation is not a tax bill. The purpose of this notice is to inform you of any change in your property valuation and advises you of your right to appeal the value.
What if I disagree of the value that the assessor has assigned to my property?
If a taxpayer disagrees with the value assigned by the assessor, the taxpayer may file protest during the statutory protest period. Real property protests must be postmarked no later than June 1, or a taxpayer may appear in person to protest no later than June 1. 39-5-121(1), C.R.S. Personal property protests must be postmarked no later than June 30, or a taxpayer may appear in person to protest no later than July 5. 39-5-121(1.5), C.R.S. A protest form is included with the notice of valuation: however it is not mandatory for the taxpayer to use this form, or any other particular form, when protesting.
What happens after I appeal?
All personal inquiries and letters/faxes received during the protest period are processed and reviewed. The assessor's staff corrects all erroneous or improper valuations. If the assessor determines that the value is correct, no adjustments will be applied. In each determination, the assessor includes the reason(s) for denial and information regarding the taxpayer's right of appeal to the county board of equalization.
Can I protest the amount of taxes I pay?
NO! Colorado statutes require that the setting assessor hear protest on valuation that has been assigned by the assessor. The assessor does not assign taxes. Taxes include a number of components that are beyond the assessor's control, such as mill levy and assessment rate. The assessment rate is set by the State Legislature and mill levies are determined by each governing entity such as schools, city or county, fire department, etc. The end results of these components determine the amount of taxes levied. The following is an example of how taxes are determined:
Source of Values
Assigned by Assessor
Assessed Value (calculation)
Mill Levy assigned by an entity
Taxes due (calculation)
If you destroy any improvements on your property, it is the TAXPAYER'S responsibility to contact the Assessor's office to have the destroyed property removed from your account.
It is the TAXPAYER'S responsibility to obtain a building permit for all new and remodeled property with the county. Please contact your local jurisdiction (the County if rural address, city or town) for the rules governing the criteria for obtaining a building permit.