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, new 2015 values will be 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 (2014 taxes payable in 2015) 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 2014, Denver's combined general millage or Mill Rate including Denver Public Schools and Urban Drainage District was 83.054 mills or a tax rate of 0.083054 for every $1 of assessed value.
Also in 2014, the typical single family Denver home was valued at about $225,000. As a result, the property tax calculation for a typical residential owner was:
Actual Value x Assessment Rate x Mill Rate (Tax Rate) = Taxes
Typical Denver Residence
$225,000 x 0.0796 x 0.083054 = $1,487.50
As shown above, the tax calculation has three parts. The Actual Value comes from the Assessor and is shown on the NOV mentioned above. Assessment Rates are set annually by the State Legislature (current precentages have been in place since 2002). Tax Rates are set in December each year by taxing authorities like the City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools and others listed on the tax bill. For more information regarding how tax rates are determined, contact the taxing authorities directly.
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.
The Colorado legislature has passed laws which exempt certain types of property from assessment. As examples, computer software application programs are exempt from business personal property assessment, as are assets which are strictly used for 30-day or less rentals. The Assessor's Office can provide current information about any new exemptions.
Under Colorado law, organizations which are charitable, educational, or religious in nature can be fully or partially exempt from property taxes. Simply having a non-profit status under federal IRS rules does not automatically carry an exemption from local property taxes. To apply for an exemption, call the State Division of Property Taxation at 303-864-7780 and request an exemption form. Web page: dola.colorado.gov/dpt.
You have the legal right to protest your property value if you believe it is incorrect. When you receive a Notice of Valuation, there will be instructions along with it explaining how you may submit a protest either in writing, in person, or over the Internet. The deadline to file for the current year by any method is June 1 annually (or by the next business day if June 1 falls on a holiday or weekend). When protesting, be sure to explain why you think your value is incorrect; please submit any information (such as sales of homes similar to yours or information concerning condition problems with your home,etc), which will assist the Assessor in making a review of your value. Include your schedule number (which is shown on your Notice of Valuation) and a daytime phone number.
If you disagree with the Board's decision regarding your protest you may appeal to the State Board of Assessment Appeals, to District Court, or to binding arbitration (the choice is yours). Instructions on how to do so are included in the Board's determination regarding your protest.
You can protest up to two prior year values (for example, anytime during 2016 you could appeal your 2015 and 2014 values), if you did not already protest those values during the year(s) in question. This can be done by submitting a Board of County Commissioners' Petition for Abatement or Refund of Taxes (available in the "Forms" section).
Webb Municipal Office Building
201 W. Colfax Ave., Dept. 406
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (720) 913-1311
Fax: (720) 913-4101
Monday - Friday
8:00a.m. - 4:30p.m.
Outside Denver Call (720) 913-1311
TTY Service: 720-913-8479