Assessor: Time is now to file property protests

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— If you are unhappy with your residential property's value, this is the time to contest it.

From May 1 to June 1, Routt County residents can challenge the notice of valuation they received from the county assessor's office last year.

During odd years, every property owner in the state is a given a new notice of valuation indicating an adjusted property value amount. During intervening years like this year those notices are sent only to residents whose property has undergone construction or a classification change.

This year, 1,739 of the new notices were sent out, Routt County Assessor Amy Williams said.

"We can receive protests all month from residential property owners, regardless. Even if you don't receive a new notice, you have been updated periodically, and should know what your valuation is," Williams said.

The assessor's office has 30 days the month of June to visit the property in question, review the protest, and send a notice of determination.

"Some time in early July, protesters should receive another valuation, either adjusted, denied, or somewhere in the middle," Williams said.

Appraisals for residential property are based on market value. While the market approach is only one of three approaches income and cost approaches can be used as well the state of Colorado wrote an amendment in 1993 that requires residential property value be based on market value only.

What that means is that the assessor's office will compare sales of like homes and structures to determine the value of protested properties.

"Two similar homes, one with a garage and one without, will be valued the same, the only difference being the appraised value of the garage probably about $6,000," Williams said.

The assessor's office is not expecting many protests, primarily because property owners have started to understand property taxes a lot better in recent years, William said.

"Residential property owners seem to understand that the Gallagher Amendment and Douglas Bruce's Amendment 1 keep the tax burden upon residential property owners at 45.5 percent. So, as there are more residents, there are more people to split this burden. Even as property value goes up, property taxes can go down. This has happened to me in Hayden," Williams explained.

"Property value is definitely going up here," said Jody Scott, association executive for the Steamboat Board of Realtors. "Perhaps not anymore than nationally, but it is increasing. In fact there aren't many places were property value is decreasing."

To contact Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4205 or e-mail bnadzam@amigo.net

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