Vail Daily column: Tax value notices are in the mail |

Vail Daily column: Tax value notices are in the mail

The Eagle County Assessor’s Office sent 2013 Notices of Value to all real estate property owners May 1.

Real estate owners will receive a postcard-sized notice of their property’s value this year instead of the traditional multiple page notice. This new format saves taxpayers thousands of dollars in postage and printing costs. The basis of the 2013 reappraisal is real estate data collected from July 1, 2010, through the appraisal date of June 30, 2012. Two separate Colorado constitutional amendments mandate the data collection period and control the functions of all 64 Colorado Assessors.

The Gallagher Amendment was voted into law by Colorado voters in 1982. This amendment created two basic premises in the assessment function. First, reappraisals would be conducted every two years (every odd year) and, second, created a split in the assessment of taxable property.

In Colorado, residential property can only represent 45 percent of the total assessed value. All other property (vacant land, commercial, etc.) represents 55 percent of the total statewide assessment.

To maintain this split, residential property is assessed at a lower rate.

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For example; a single family residence with a value of $500,000 is assessed at a rate of 7.96 percent, or $39,800.

A commercial property with the same $500,000 value is assessed at 29 percent, resulting in an assessed value of $145,000. The assessment is the taxable portion of value and creates the tax base for all tax entities within a county.

The Tabor Amendment, or the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, was voted into the state Constitution by Colorado voters in 1992. A portion of the amendment directs Colorado assessors to use only the market approach in estimating value for residential property. The cost, market or income approaches are used in estimating the value of all other classes of property.

Mandated reassessment is controlled by the Colorado Constitution. Various amendments and state statute allow the assessor to take the recession and downturn in our local economy into account in estimating the value of property for 2013. The median change in residential property value is minus18 percent, whereas commercial property went down 14 percent on the median. The largest decreases were found in the mid- and western portions of the county, whereas some areas in the eastern confines of the county increased or stayed relatively flat.

Our neighboring counties are facing similar situations with erratic real estate values for this 2013 reappraisal and are experiencing a poor economy and recession just like Eagle County.

Recent changes in the real estate market will be addressed in the 2015 reappraisal, based on data from Jan. 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.

Real estate property appeals are heard by the Eagle Assessor’s Office beginning today and ending June 3.

Property owners can refer to www. for more information regarding the appeals process.

Mark Chapin is the Eagle County assessor.

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