How to protest your property valuation |

How to protest your property valuation

Guest Editorial
John Gorman
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Every year on May 1 or May 2, the County Assessor’s Office mails Notices of Value to Garfield County property owners. This year, those values are given for the value of property as of June 30, 2006. Property is re-valued every two years per our state constitution. Most owners will realize an increase in value of from 25 percent to 40 percent from the value set two years ago. This is the result of a most active real estate market which has been very kind to sellers. The experienced and dedicated appraisers and administrative staff expend a great deal of time and effort to fairly and accurately value property and carefully record those values. The professional and competent staff with which I have the good fortune to work has my praise as does my predecessor, Shannon Hurst, who put this team together.

However, the state provides, in statute, the means for taxpayers to question our records through the protest process. From May 2 through June 1, an owner may protest the real property value or the classification established by the assessor. This is the taxpayer’s (owner’s) opportunity to correct values, misclassifications, errors in property descriptions or ownership, or other discrepancies that may exist in the property records.

Objections must be filed with the Assessor’s Office by mail or in person by June 1. The information used by the assessor to value property is available for review. Upon review of the information supplied by an owner or agent, the assessor may need to physically inspect a property to confirm that it is described correctly.

If an owner chooses to file an objection, the assessor must make a decision concerning that protest and mail the owner a written Notice of Determination on or before the last working day in June. If the owner is satisfied with the value, the process ends, and tax will be based on the value reflected on the Notice of Determination.

If an owner disagrees with the assessor’s decision, the next step is to file an appeal with the County Board of Equalization. The County Board’s address is listed on the assessor’s Notice of Determination, and space is provided to explain the reasons for requesting further review.

An appeal to the County Board of Equalization must be postmarked or hand-delivered by July 16. The county board notifies an owner by mail of the hearing date, time, and place where evidence may be presented to substantiate the owner’s case. Evidence includes documentation such as the sales prices of properties similar to the owner’s that sold during the time frame specified on the Real Property Notice of Valuation. The County Board of Equalization will conclude the hearings and render decisions by the close of business on Aug. 3. The county board must mail decisions within five business days of rendering its decisions. If the county board adjusts an owner’s value, the tax bill for the current year will be based on the adjusted value.

If an owner disagrees with the action of the County Board of Equalization, the owner may file an appeal with the state Board of Assessment Appeals, District Court, or request a binding arbitration hearing. Such appeals must be made within 30 days of the County Board of Equalization’s decision.

Please call or come in if we can be of service.

Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the County Courthouse, 109 Eighth St., Suite 207, Glenwood Springs.

John Gorman is the Garfield County assessor. He can be reached at 945-9134.

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