The value of property in Routt County for tax purposes is down a little more than 11 percent this year.

Photo by John F. Russell

The value of property in Routt County for tax purposes is down a little more than 11 percent this year.

Routt County taxpayers have until June 1 to question property valuation

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Find the assessment history of your property

Go to www.co.routt.co.us, and type your last name or the name of your subdivision in the appropriate window and click the search button. Scroll down until you see your name and click on it. Click “Assessment History” in the grey column on the left for your property valuation information.

You also can find historic information about your property tax bills if you go back one page to where you can see your account number at the top of the page. Copy that number and then click on “Treasurer Tax Search” directly above it. After reading the disclaimer, paste the account number into the window labeled “Account ID,” enter your street address and click the search button.

— The clock is ticking for property taxpayers in Routt County who might want to protest the newly updated valuation of their real estate for tax purposes.

Valuation notices were mailed May 1, and people who disagree with the value or property classification placed on their real estate, or on personal property used to generate income, have the rest of the month to appeal. Appeals must be postmarked, emailed, faxed or delivered in person to the assessor’s office in the Routt County Courthouse by June 1, according to the summary of tax levies published by Routt County Assessor Gary Peterson.

Routt County Finance Director Dan Strnad said this week that the valuation of residential and commercial properties in the county are down but not by as great a margin as they were in the 2010 valuation.

“We are seeing about a 17 percent decrease (in total) on residential and commercial property, but overall, we saw an 11.8 percent decrease in valuation,” Strnad said.

That’s substantially less than the 21 percent drop recorded in May 2010.

Strnad said tax credits set aside by the county commissioners in anticipation of declining valuation will help soften the impact of declining county valuation on next year’s budget.

Valuation is updated every two years and forms the basis of property tax bills but does not determine the amount of taxes. Taxes are not set each year until school boards and town governments, for example, approve a budget and levy taxes under the limits of the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights.

Peterson said his staff welcomes people seeking help in understanding how their properties were valued. If they aren’t satisfied with the explanation, they can appeal their valuation. However, in order to succeed, they’ll need to do some homework.

Peterson previously has told the Steamboat Today that in order for appeals to be successful, property owners might do research to show that the information used to value the property was based on the sales or income potential of superior properties.

Taxpayers who make appeals of their valuation outside the official protest period must make objections through the lengthier abatement process.

Some taxpayer confusion related to valuation notices stems from the fact the new valuations that came in the mail this month were established by the assessor’s staff analyzing market activity and market conditions beginning July 1, 2010, and ending June 30, 2012.

That means that real estate sales activity that took place in the past 11 months was not taken into an account.

The assessor’s office can be reached at 970-870-5544 or assessor@co.routt.co.us

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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