DENVER — Tens of thousands of people across the metro area are getting a much-anticipated decision from their county about property values after they skyrocketed.
Douglas County, Jefferson County and Denver all said appeal decisions have been mailed out, which means people have already received their decision or will receive it in a matter of days.
In Jefferson County, the county assessor said they worked through more than 28,000 appeals after the average property value went from $442,230 to $607,165 in the last two years.
“I mean, there was a huge demand over the last couple of years or the couple of years leading up to June 30, 2022,” said Jefferson County Assessor Scot Kersgaard, “Interest rates were very low, COVID hit. And that allowed people to move to areas that they couldn’t have moved to before because remote work became a thing.”
The county looked through every single appeal and then compared again to surrounding property values. Kersgaard said that’s when they decided to adjust the numbers for 21 percent of those appeals anywhere from $65,000 to $130,000. On the flip end, it also means the county assessor is standing behind 79 percent of those higher values.
“Taxes are a combination of factors, one of which is the value,” explained Kersgaard,” But the other factors are the assessment rate, which is set by the legislature, any exemptions that may apply, which are set by the legislature, and then the mill levies which are set by the taxing authorities, school districts, fire districts, etc.”
Kersgaard said he knows people were shocked by the jump in property values but also said it ultimately came down to the numbers.
“You know, people, people freak out. And I get it. I mean, I don't want my taxes to go up 36%,” Kersgaard said, “But we get a lot of complaints or appeals, where people aren't really even complaining about their value. They're saying things like, you know, it's not my fault values went up this much. It's not my fault.”
Since the county was working through four times as many appeals compared to what they saw two years ago, they had to go to the county commissioners asking for funding to cover overtime.
In Denver, the assessor said the total number of appeals was 24,769 for 2023. Denver adjusted around 45 percent, which is typical for the city. The assessed rate change was seven to eight percent, or about $47,000 on average.
Notifications were sent out on Monday, August 14th.
The county assessor wrote in an e-mail: “Anyone dissatisfied with the result of their appeal can appeal to the Board of Equalization by September 15, 2023, regardless of the outcome at the first level. Instructions to appeal are included with appeal results. I’ve attached an example of what a denied appeal would look like. Approved appeals also have the petition to appeal again on them.”
As for how much of it impacts taxes. ”This is a complicated question but first, the Assessor ONLY assesses the value of the property, not the amount of taxes paid," the county assessor wrote. "A property owner’s assessed value is then multiplied by the current mill levy to arrive at the property tax due. Mill levies are set around December 15th each year by the various local taxing authorities such as the school district, city council, or special districts in each county. A mill = $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value. Additionally, the legislature has a ballot initiative (HH) that could impact what people pay in property taxes.”
According to Denver officials, nine metro area counties experienced double digit increases in property valuations, which was consistent with other regions through Colorado.
On that list includes Douglas County that’s reporting 36,182 parcels were appealed, which is more than double the second highest year in history for them.
Decisions in that county were mailed on August 15th and you can view the notice of determination online as well.
According to the county, 41 percent of residential appeals were adjusted this year, the highest ever. The average decrease due to appeal was about 7.2 percent or roughly $50,000.
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