Deadline on Thursday for contesting property valuations in Garfield County

Everyone is talking about property valuations this year. Yes, they went up, and property owners all over Colorado are upset.

Garfield County notices of value were mailed to property owners in early May and reflect property values based on the local real estate market as of June 30, 2022, as determined by the Garfield County Assessor’s Office. Property owners can appeal their valuations no later than June 8, a county news release states.

Johanna Payne of Payne and Compass has represented Pitkin County property owners since 2007, when she retired after 15 years from her appraiser duties with the Pitkin County Assessor. She helps property owners with appeals in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“Many property owners do not understand the requirements that the assessor must use to value property in Colorado, especially second homeowners,” she said.

She said property sales accelerated all over the country during the COVID-19 pandemic years, 2020-2022. 

“The pandemic boosted the demand for housing by increasing the need to work from home and for more social distancing away from urban areas,” she said.

Assessed property values for 2023 and 2024 are based on sales that took place between Jan. 1, 2021-June 30, 2022, she said.

Each county in Colorado has a website that gives the comparable sales that were used to value each property by neighborhood. 

“I recommend that you look up your property on your county assessor website, find the comparable sales and determine if your property, based on those sales, is fairly valued,” she said.

Payne said it is easy to protest your property value by filling out the protest form and “to be sure and include your research as to which sales best represented your property and the reasons why.”

Garfield County said in the May news release that property owners experienced steep value increases in this most recent reappraisal over 2021 — the median increase countywide was 54%. Depending on the district in which the property is located, this figure could be higher or lower. The market property value is just one factor that determines the property tax payment.

“Now is the time to make sure your property value is correct,” said Garfield County Assessor Jim Yellico in the release. “Also, is your square footage accurate? Do we have the correct number of bedrooms and bathrooms? This is ‘Value Season’ and from now until June 8 is the best time to address your property’s value. Tax season is in the fall, and that is between the people and the local governments.” 

If you submit a protest, the assessor will make a decision and will mail a Notice of Determination before June 30, Payne said. If you still disagree with your valuation you can file an appeal with your county board of equalization before July 15.

“Assessor sets the value, not the taxes; thus, only the property valuation can be protested,” Payne said. “The assessor’s office does not collect money for taxes; that is the job of the county treasurer.”

Contact the Garfield County Assessor’s Office at 970-945-9134 or via email online with questions or for more information.

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