Look up your taxes
To view property records online, visit www.co.routt.co.u...
Click on the bar labeled "Assessor/Treasurer property search." From there, you can search for your individual property records by account number or parcel ID number if you saved last year's tax notice. You can also search by name, but that method doesn't always yield results. One sure-fire method is to search by the name of the subdivision you live in. That method also turns up public results for the properties owned by all of your neighbors.
For more information about escalating property taxes in Routt County, see the Real Estate section in Sunday's Steamboat Pilot & Today.
Steamboat Springs Have a seat. Your property tax bill is in the mail, and you're apt to notice a change - upward.
Routt County Treasurer Jeanne Whiddon confirmed that she sent half of the county's property tax notices Thursday, and the rest will go into the mail today. For many local property owners, the tax notices will contain unwelcome news.
"In most cases, property owners will experience a significant increase in their 2007 tax bill when compared to prior years," Routt County Assessor Mike Kerrigan said Thursday.
It is difficult to generalize about how much of a tax increase different property owners will see, Kerrigan said. That's because the amount of the increase varies with the type and location of the property.
However, Whiddon said the tax bill on her home on Pine Street in Old Town Steamboat Springs went up 29 percent, to more than $2,000 annually.
The magnitude of the hit will vary for residential property owners in Yampa and Stagecoach, for example. And commercial property owners are apt to see bigger jumps than residential property owners.
Kerrigan said several factors have come together to result in the property tax increase. One of them is the unprecedented increase in real estate values in the county during the past several years.
"In 2007, all properties were reappraised to reflect market values as of June 30, 2006, while 2005 and 2006 property taxes were based on market values as of June 30, 2004," Kerrigan said. "In that two-year period, the assessed value in Routt County increased approximately 35 percent."
Kerrigan said Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, adopted in 1992, affords property owners some protection from tax bills escalating with real estate values - but that doesn't mean individual property owners won't feel some pain.
Kerrigan acknowledged that TABOR requires taxing entities to reduce their mill levies, so that revenues will remain relatively constant unless voters approve additional mill levy increases.
However, TABOR does allow governments to adjust levies for inflation and new construction. During Routt County's 2007 budget process, the Denver/Boulder Consumer Price Index allowed a 2.75 percent increase in mill levies and new construction allowed another 3.25 percent, Kerrigan said.
Local voters have approved several new property taxes in recent years.
In 2006, voters approved two property tax increases for the Steamboat Springs School District that were expected to add about $100 to the tax bill of someone owning a $450,000 home.
In November 2005, voters approved tax measures for the Bud Werner Memorial Library expansion, the Purchase of Development Rights Program and Horizons Specialized Services.
In aggregate, they were expected to add about $180 to the tax bill for a $600,000 house.
Kerrigan's figures show that the 1.5 mills of property taxes for the Purchase of Development rights will generate $1.62 million in revenues this year. The 1 mill for Horizons will generate $1.08 million. Three-tenths of a mill devoted to museums in the county will generate $324,131. Those three special taxes are not constrained by TABOR and chalked up a 34 percent increase in taxes, according to Kerrigan.