Garfield County O&G property valuation drops 31 percent
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The other shoe has dropped in Garfield County’s property valuation decline this year, and it’s a big one.
Numbers are still preliminary until the final certification of property valuations is completed by the county assessor’s office in late August, but Garfield County is looking at a more than 31 percent decline in its oil and gas property valuation compared to last year.
“We feel pretty comfortable with the overall numbers at this time,” said Garfield County Assessor Jim Yellico. “It pretty much is what it is at this point.”
Softening the blow some will be an expected increase in the state of Colorado’s assessed value for pipelines and other utilities associated with the oil and gas industry in the county, he said.
However, that only accounts for approximately $90 million of assessed valuation, compared to $1.95 billion for oil and gas production and personal properties that are assessed by the county.
That figure is down from $2.87 billion in 2012, for a 31.9 percent decrease, Yellico reported to the Garfield County commissioners earlier this week.
Oil and gas properties account for 73 percent of the county’s property tax base. While real property is reassessed every two years, oil and gas property is assessed annually.
Real property valuations, which takes in residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural properties, plus vacant land, declined 23 percent this year to $714 million from the previous assessed valuation of $974 million.
Combined, the total assessed valuation for Garfield County will decline to just over $2.8 billion, down from $3.9 billion last year, or 28.2 percent. That number could be adjusted after the property valuation appeal period, which concludes with board of equalization hearings next month, Yellico said.
Factoring the increase in state oil and gas valuations, the overall decline could be closer to 25 percent, he said.
The new 2013 real property valuation is based on re-assessments based on 2012 values. It will be used by taxing entities, including the county government, school districts and special districts, to calculate property taxes for 2014.
Mill levies will not be certified until later this year. Some entities may also consider going to voters for mill levy increases in this fall’s election, in an attempt to make up the difference from the lower assessed valuations.
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State department of transportation crews are well on their way to clearing Highway 82 to Independence Pass, which should open on schedule May 27 at noon.