A division of the Department of Finance, the Assessor's Office locates, appraises, and records all of Denver's real and personal properties in accordance with the Colorado Constitution, State statutes, and Board of Equalization procedures. The Assessor certifies valuations to more than 50 special tax districts and tracks values and annual tax increments within the city's over 25 tax increment financing (TIF) projects. The Division prepares and delivers the tax warrant to the Treasurer, maintains records on senior citizen and other tax exemptions, generates value notices for all taxpayers, and processes written and in-person valuation protests and appeals.
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.
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.
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, 2015 values are based on properties which sold between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2014. 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.
The Assessment Division does not set property taxes or collect payments. However, we can provide the following general information about how your most recent property tax bill (2015 taxes payable in 2016) was calculated and how to estimate taxes.
To calculate taxes, Actual Value is adjusted by the appropriate Assessment Rate to determine its Assessed Value. Commercial properties are multiplied by 29% (0.2900) and residential properties, including apartments, by 7.96% (0.0796).
The Assessed Value (less any exempted amount) is next multiplied by the applicable Tax Rate. In Colorado, tax rates are expressed as a decimal fraction of a dollar for every one dollar of Assessed Value. Know as millage or mills, one mill is 1/1,000th of a dollar or $0.001 (1/10th of a penny). Millage greater than one mill is usually written as a whole number followed by three digits to the right of a decimal point.
In 2015, Denver's combined general millage or Mill Rate including Denver Public Schools and Urban Drainage District is 78.127 mills or a tax rate of 0.078127 for every $1 of assessed value.
Also in 2015, the typical single family Denver home was valued at about $290,000. As a result, the property tax calculation for a typical residential owner was:
Actual Value x Assessment Rate x Mill Rate (Tax Rate) = Taxes
$290,000 x .0796 x 0.078127 = $1,803
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 2015 property values, the sales prices of homes similar to yours which sold between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2014, were studied. If the sales prices of those homes went up, then the assessed value of your home likely showed an increase.
The Assessor does not set property taxes or mill rates. Property taxes are determined by multiplying a property'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).
State laws (TABOR for example) as well as other voter-approved measures impact the mill rate that is eventually adopted by each taxing authority. It is not possible to determine whether property taxes will increase or decrease until the various mill rates are determined in December of each year.
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.
Information Management Team
Information Management (I.M.) Reps are available to assist the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Information provided includes property ownership (owner name, mailing address, legal description, etc.) for real estate, as well as such items as the property characteristics for homes, including the style, year built, number of bedrooms and baths, square foot of living area, lot size and zoning. The historical "chain of title" (names of previous owners) pre-dating website data (prior to 1987) is available from the Denver Public Library. Current maps of the neighborhood or the full subdivision are also available from the website or from the Division's GIS Mapping Team. Additional assistance in these matters is available from the website, the 311 Call Center at 720 913-1311, in person at the front counter on the fourth floor of the Webb Building or from the Information Voice Response (IVR) system by calling 720 913-4162.