Property valuations up across Eagle County |

Property valuations up across Eagle County

Chris Outcalt
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” The county assessor’s office has gotten a lot of phone calls since mailing residents their new property valuation notices a few days ago.

They expected that to happen, said County Assessor Mark Chapin. The most recent re-valuation process has been a little unusual.

Most property is worth more than it was when the county did its last revaluation two years ago and residents are wondering how, in the midst of a recession, that’s possible, Chapin said.

“(The calls) don’t come as a surprise for us given the current nature of the economy and the fact that we’re in a recession and we’re projecting values that are increasing in a time that people are starting to note that values are dropping,” he said.

The explanation for the increased value is fairly simple, Chapin said. The state mandates the time frame the county has to conduct its assessments. The valuations mailed on May 1 were based on appraisals done between Jan. 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008 ” a time property values were still increasing, according to Chapin.

But people are just now seeing the numbers the county came up with.

Countywide, the average increase in value to single family properties was 13 percent. Some spots, including Eagle and the Minturn and Red Cliff area, were much higher. Eagle property values increased an average of 25 percent. Property in the Minturn-Red Cliff area had a 35 percent average increase.

“I would say it is unlucky,” Chapin said. “We’re holding the ball with this value based on June 30, 2008, and people see what’s right in front of them.”

The value of condominiums, which make up the second-biggest chunk of property in the county, increased an average of 13.5 percent, Chapin said.

The most recent appraisals will be used to determine how much residents owe in property taxes in 2009 and 2010.

Residents have the right to challenge the county’s numbers and is something people shouldn’t be afraid to do, Chapin said.

“The appeals process is quite easy and it doesn’t cost anything to come in or call or write,” he said. “It’s not a painful process and we try not to intimidate people.”

But the county won’t be able to consider a recent appraisal as part of an appeal. Only information on the value of piece of property between Jan. 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, is relevant, Chapin said.

Vail resident Karl Fauland plans to appeal the new valuation for his Geneva Drive property. He’s successfully appealed the county’s appraisal before. He argued his last valuation down to about $1 million and the new figure he got this week was back up to around $1.4 million, he said.

“It seems quite major,” said Fauland, who is considering organizing people in his neighborhood to all appeal the valuations.

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or

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