GarCo residential valuations see increase of 33%
Assessed valuations for real and personal property in Garfield County are up about 7 percent after the recent round of valuation protests and appeals to the county’s Board of Equalization.
According to Garfield County Assessor Jim Yellico, the total assessed valuation is at a little more than $3.41 billion, compared with about $3.17 billion for 2014.
Residential property across the county, from Carbondale to Parachute/Battlement Mesa, saw the biggest increase in valuation compared with last year, from $353 million in 2014 to $470 million this year.
Commercial property is up 4 percent, from $295 million to $307 million, while agricultural lands and improvements are up 12 percent, and the value of vacant land is up 16 percent, according to the latest numbers that will be included in the official 2015 Abstract of Property Assessments to be released later this month.
On the oil and gas front, valuations based on 2014 activity are up 3 percent. But the assessed value for drilling rigs is down substantially, a 33 percent decrease, due to the downturn in new drilling related to low energy prices and other factors.
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“These are the numbers we send to all of the tax entities, which is what they use to figure out what their mill levy needs to be,” Yellico explained. “This is also when tax entities determine if a mill levy increase is necessary.”
Any increase in the mill levy for taxing entities is something that must be decided by voters within that jurisdiction.
After valuations were sent to all property owners during the spring, the county fielded 1,039 protests, Yellico said.
Of those, values on 609 property schedules were adjusted, resulting in a reduction of more than $11 million. The Assessor’s Office denied 428 of those protests, while one case was dropped and another voided due to a clerical error, Yellico said.
The next step in the process resulted in appeals on 134 separate property schedules, Yellico said.
Of those, 55 were settled by property owners working with the Assessor’s Office, five were denied administratively, 12 were withdrawn and 62 cases went before the county commissioners, sitting as the Board of Equalization, for hearings.
Of the cases that went to hearings, which took place in late July and early August, 36 were denied and 26 were adjusted, resulting in another $120,000 reduction in the overall assessed valuation, Yellico said.
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