Manwaring column: Real estate taxes and valuation |

Manwaring column: Real estate taxes and valuation

Shawn Manwaring is a broker associate with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s International Realty in Glenwood Springs.

In recent years we have observed an increasing number of people relocating to Garfield County from outside our county and in some cases, outside our state. Depending on where you live in the country, you probably have an opinion on your real estate taxes.

As someone who grew up on the East Coast, I appreciate the relatively low real estate taxes we have here in Colorado. Some of my clients who are new to the area agree with me and there are still others who feel real estate taxes are higher than they are used to. Regardless of opinion, it seems very few can ever answer this question: How are real estate taxes calculated?

Property Market Value x Assessment Rate x Total Mill Levy = Taxes Due

To get the first figure of the equation, the local assessor’s office figures out a person’s property’s market value. The assessment rate is determined by the Colorado Constitution and local government identifies the mill levy.

A mill is equal to 1/1000 of a dollar. A tax rate is the mill levy expressed as a percentage. Thus 98.42 mills = 9.842 percent or .09842 as the decimal equivalent. Essentially each of these factors above are the result of our government’s inner-workings.

The reason this is especially relevant now is because residents are coming up on our bi-annual re-appraisal here in Garfield County. You will likely receive a Notice of Valuation this Spring that will tell you the new assessed value of your property compared to when it was last assessed in 2017. If you do not agree with the county assessor, you can appeal during the month of May. Once the appeal period is over, the property will have the value for this year and the following year.

Many folks are curious to see what the new appraised values will look like this year across the county compared to 2017 given the fact our real estate market has been red hot since that time and undoubtedly property values have increased. I would venture to suggest that even with a slight increase in taxes this year, our local property taxes will still be relatively low compared to many other states across the country.

Shawn Manwaring is a Broker Associate with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s International Realty in Glenwood Springs. Shawn services Western Garfield County and the lower Roaring Fork Valley. He can be reached at 970-389-6069, or

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