Property values up, especially in west Garfield County |

Property values up, especially in west Garfield

Western Garfield County residents have seen big property value increases in the past year, according to the county assessor’s biennial valuation.

“Carbondale, Glenwood, even New Castle hovered around an average 10 percent increase” in home value, said Jim Yellico, Garfield County assessor.

“Silt down to Parachute, it was closer to 20 percent increase in their value,” Yellico said.

Such dramatic increases in value haven’t been seen in that part of the county since the recession, Yellico said.

Between the higher residential value and voter-approved property taxes, the total property tax bill will also likely increase.

Yellico and his staff of 17 have been working on value assessments for the past two years — and many have already started working on the 2021 cycle.

Property owners received updated valuations in May, and had until June 3 to file a protest. Yellico is pleased at the low number of protests his office received.

“We had between 27,000 and 28,000 parcels to send notice of valuations out to. From all those new values, we had 774 protests sent back; that’s less than 3 percent,” Yellico told the Garfield County commissioners Monday.

The total preliminary value of the property in Garfield County — including residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural and oil and gas lands — comes to $2.5 billion.

A big part of the increase was from the real property, everything besides oil and gas, which increased 10 percent, from $931 million to $1.27 this year.

Property value is measured by approved home sales — which excludes things like foreclosure auctions and transfer of homes within families.

Residential property value increases alone doesn’t mean higher property taxes.

But when combined with mill levy overrides and a small decrease in the state-determined assessment rate, many areas could see a higher property tax bill.

This year, the state is likely to lower the assessment rate slightly, from 7.2 to 7.15 percent, which is not a dramatic amount.

The Gallagher Amendment to the Colorado constitution fixed all the rates except for residential, which is updated by the state every other year.

Late in 2018, the Colorado Legislative Council said it anticipated the assessment rate to drop to 6.11 percent, but that was before oil and gas companies delivered their valuations, Yellico said.

The negligible 0.05 percent reduction to the assessment rate is likely due to oil and gas miniboom on the Front Range.

“The increase in oil and gas valuations, mostly in the Weld County area, kept the assessment rate from going down much,” Yellico said.

Commercial assessment rates are fixed at 29 percent, but the residential rate changes to keep the percentage of property taxes homeowners pay even with what businesses contribute.

As housing in Colorado boomed, however, the assessment rate dropped dramatically, and many expected the 2019 reassessment to drop again, which could have decreased property tax bills and, consequently, reduced revenue for some taxing entities.

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