Assessor's Office - Frequently Asked Questions

Assessor's Office
Frequently Asked Questions
Determining Property Values

Why do we have property assessments?
The Constitution and state laws of Colorado have established real and business personal property assessment procedures and requirements. The values determined by the Assessment Divison for real and personal property are used in the calculation of property tax bills. The revenue raised through these property taxes is used to help pay for all public services including police, schools, libraries, and fire protection.

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How is my property assessed?
For residential properties, Division appraisers study the sales of homes similar to yours which sold within a specific 24-month period. For commercial and industrial properties, the cost, market and income approaches are considered and for business personal property, values are based on the asset information submitted directly by business owners.

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When is my property assessed?
Under Colorado law, all real property (land, buildings, improvements, etc) must be re-appraised every two years. This occurs in each odd-numbered year (2013, 2015, etc). The Assessment Division studies the prices of properties which sold during the 24-month period ending on June 30 of the year prior to the reappraisal. For example, new 2013 values will be based on properties which sold between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2012. New values are set each year for personal property owned by businesses based on the information annually submitted by the taxpayers on personal property declarations.

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Why did my property value go up when I haven't made any new improvements to my home?
In order to determine new values for residential property (including single-family, multi-family and apartment properties) all Colorado assessors are required by law to use only the market approach to value. For 2013 property values, the sales prices of homes similar to yours which sold between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2012, were studied.  If the sales prices of those homes went up, then the assessed value of your home likely showed an increase.

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If my property value increased, will my property taxes go up?
For 2012 taxes payable in 2013, the answer is yes. The majority of Denver's 2011 Reappraisal values decreased forcing tax rates (millages) up for all taxpayers. THE ASSESSOR DOES NOT SET PROPERTY TAXES OR MILL RATES. Property taxes are determined by multiplying your home's assessed value by the millage or mill rate. Mill rates are set in December of each year by the various taxing authorities (City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools, and any special districts in which you reside). The resulting tax amounts for the taxing authorities are then added together into one overall tax bill or statement. 

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What is the difference between "actual" value and "assessed" value?

The Assessor determines the "actual (market) value for all real and personal property. Actual value is then reduced by a percentage to derive the "assessed" value. For all Colorado commercial and business personal property, the assessment percentage is 29%. For example, if a commercial or business personal property owner receives a notice from the Assessor stating that the actual value of his/her property is $100,000, its assessed value would be $29,000 (100,000 x 0.29). For all residential property a new assessment percentage is determined each year by the state legislature. The current percentage for residential property is 7.96%. Thus, a house with an actual value of $100,000 would have an assessed value of $7,960 (100,000 x 0.0796). Your property's actual value multiplied by its assessment percentage yields its assessed value. Assessed value times mill rate, produces your annual property tax bill.

 

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