Pitkin County sees record property value protests
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado – Nearly a third of all property owners in Pitkin County have protested their latest property values, though the final tally – likely to set a local record – is still outstanding.
The Assessor’s Office continues to log in the protests that were filed by the June 1 deadline.
By Monday afternoon, the office had entered about 4,300 protests, and Assessor Tom Isaac guessed the total would be closer to 4,500 by the time his staff is done.
With about 15,000 total properties in Pitkin County, that means close to 30 percent of all property owners protested the values assigned by Isaac’s office. Other counties have seen a higher number of protests, but as a percentage of the number of properties in the county, Pitkin County’s total may be tops in the state, Isaac said.
While almost 50 percent of the county’s property owners protested their values during Isaac’s first revaluation year in office, back in 1991, the overall number of properties then was lower.
“That was by far the most ever in Pitkin County -until now,” he said.
Six appraisers in Isaac’s office now have until June 30 to review every protest – that’s about 750 cases per appraiser. Isaac said he has already warned the county’s budget overseers that he will exceed his overtime budget.
“We’re putting in some overtime. We’ve got to get it done – no question,” he said.
Isaac’s office will mail out its response to each protest in a notice of determination. Mailings are likely in two batches – one in mid-June and one at the end of the month, he said.
Property owners who wish to appeal the determination must file a notice of appeal to the Board of Equalization. County commissioners are poised this week to appoint two hearing officers and two alternates to hear the appeals and make recommendations to commissioners for final action. There is $17,000 in the budget for hearing officers.
The Vail Valley’s real estate market has long been an unusual one, with very expensive sales accounting for a large share of the market’s dollar volume. That means a few sales can have a large impact on volume.