Property taxes go out this month, and will reflect voter-approved increases
January 9, 2017
EAGLE — Property tax notices go out this month, and they may raise some eyebrows after Eagle County voters approved four separate taxes increases in 2016.
Voters approved four property tax increases this year:
• Eagle County school district.
• Eagle County ambulance district.
• Eagle River Fire Protection District.
• Gypsum Fire Protection District.
Pay where you live
How much your property taxes will increase depends on where your property is, said Mark Chapin, Eagle County assessor.
Everyone in the Eagle River Valley from East Vail to Dotsero pays the tax increases for the schools and the ambulance district, Chapin said.
The tax increase for the Eagle River Fire Protection District will be paid by property owners from Tennessee Pass to Wolcott, and areas north and south inside that district. They'll also pay the increased school taxes and ambulance district taxes.
The same goes for Gypsum property owners: increased school taxes and ambulance district taxes, along with an increase in the Gypsum Fire District taxes.
By the numbers
To make math less complicated, Chapin explained it using property worth $500,000.
Under Colorado's tax structure, residential property is taxed at 7.9 percent. Commercial property is taxed at 29 percent.
To figure out the taxable value of your residence, multiply your $500,000 market value by .079 percent.
If you did the math correctly, then your residential property taxes will be based on $39,800.
If you're the proud owner of a $500,000 commercial property, then multiply $500,000 by 29 percent and you should get around $145,000.
Those assessed values are multiplied by the property tax rate in your neighborhood.
How much you'll pay
Based on that property valued at $500,000:
• The ambulance district tax increase will add $30 a year to everyone's residential property tax bill.
• The school district's property tax will add $194 to everyone's residential property tax bill.
Between the two, that's $224 added to your residential property tax bill. Chapin, who's very good at math, did the calculations.
Now, if you own a $500,000 residential property in the Eagle River Fire Protection District, then you're looking at a tax increase of $47 per year. For all three — the fire district, school district and ambulance district — it's a $271 total annual property tax increase.
For a $500,000 residential property in Gypsum, it's a $151 annual property tax increase. For all three tax initiatives, you'll pay $375 more in property taxes in 2017.
The Commercial hit
Commercial property owners will pay considerably more.
• For the ambulance district, that's $108 more per year up and down the length of the Eagle River Valley.
• The school district tax increase is $707 more on a $500,000 commercial property.
• Commercial property owners in the Eagle River Fire Protection District will pay $171 more in property taxes on $500,000.
• In the Gypsum Fire Protection District, commercial property taxes will go up $550 per year.
All in, a $500,000 Gypsum business will pay around $1,200 more in property taxes.
"It's just the cost of doing business in Eagle County. I don't think it will effect the way we do business much, if at all," said Katie Black with Gypsum's Wylaco Supply Company.
School bonds to be sold Jan. 25.
Various investors will pick up the school district bonds when they're sold beginning Jan. 25.
"Sometimes they're local people who want to invest in the community, sometimes they're institutional investors," said Sandra Mutchler, the school district's chief operating officer.
The bond debt voters approved last November contained some fairly specific restrictions:
• $18 million: maximum annual payment.
• $144 million: maximum amount of bond debt.
• $233 million: maximum debt repayment.
The school district will be able to calculate the exact annual payment after the bonds are sold. They'll start collecting that tax increase in 2018, Chapin said.
Voters also approved an $8 million annual funding increase for the school district, and that tax increase will show up on the property tax notice you'll receive this month.
Will taxes keep rising?
Although property values continue to increase, your residential property tax rates — and, probably, your bill — will not go up more than the 2017 increase, Chapin explained. In fact, residential property tax rates — if not your bill — may decrease.
Under Colorado's Gallagher Amendment, residential property taxes are limited to 45 percent of all property taxes in Colorado. Every other kind of property covers the other 55 percent.
To keep that equation balanced, residential property tax rates will likely decline in 2018, Chapin said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.