+ Why does AVPros charge an upfront appraisal fee?

AVPROS requires upfront payment a $200.00 fee (perhaps more for a commercial or multiple properties) to be paid at the time of signing the Engagement Agreement. As licensed appraisers, to be in compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Practice, an appraisal must be objective, for a fixed fee, and not based on a predetermined outcome. With compliant appraisal in hand, AVPROS then goes to work as your agent to advocate on your behalf for a reduced assessment valuation, if warranted, based on the appraisal results.

+ Will a lower Assessment Value affect my sales price, if I decide to sell?

No. I am not aware of buyers who look at the tax bill to influence their purchase price. On the other hand, it is just good property management to keep your property taxes in line. Why pay more than your share of taxes?

+ If I missed the June 1st protest deadline can I still appeal?

There are alternative appeals that can be filed, including an abatement/refund petition if you didn’t start the process by filing a protest during the May 1 to June 1 protest period for 2017. As a matter of fact, appeals can still be filed for the 2015-16 tax years if not appealed prior. Contact AVPros to discuss your situation.

+ What is the difference between a “Protest” and an “Appeal”?

The technical difference, according to the Colorado Division of Taxation, is that a protest is the initial filing with the assessor’s office within the prescribed period after May 1 when the new assessment values are mailed to property owners. An appeal describes any other filing of a petition challenging a property’s assessment value, including the CBOE (2nd Round), the BAA (third round), or anything related to the filing of an abatement or refund petition. That said, many in the industry use the terms interchangeably.

+ How often is my property valued?

Under Colorado law, all real property (land, buildings, improvements, etc.) must be re-appraised every two years. This occurs in each odd-numbered year (2015, 2017, 2019, etc.). The county assessor reviews the prices of properties which sold during the 24-month period ending on June 30 of the year prior to the reappraisal cycle. For example, new 2017 values will be based on properties which sold between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2016. 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.

+ What is the Difference between “Actual” Value and “Assessed” value?

The assessor estimates the "actual (market) value for all real and personal property in the county. Actual value is then reduced by a percentage to derive the "assessed" value. For all of Colorado, vacant land, 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 the 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 multiplied times the mill rate, produces your annual property tax bill.

+ If my property value increased, will my property taxes go up?

For 2017 taxes payable in 2018, the answer is probably yes. However, the actual increase will not be known until the end of 2017 when the each county adopts a new mill levy which determines the 2017 tax for your property. The estimated statewide Colorado increase in all 2017 actual values over 2015-16 actual values for residential properties is +20.8%. Obviously, as a statewide average certain counties will far exceed this increase. It is important to note that the assessor does not set property taxes or mill rates. Property taxes are determined by multiplying your home's assessed value by the mill levy or mill rate. The mill rate is determined by the sum of all pertinent tax levies of metropolitan districts, schools, parks, etc., divided by all applicable property's combined assessed value. The tax bill is for your share of the pertinent tax levies.

+ Why did my property value go up when I haven't made any new improvements to my home?

In order to determine new values for residential property (including single-family, multi-family and apartment properties) all Colorado county assessors are required by law to use only the market approach to value. For 2017 property value estimates, the sales prices of homes similar to yours which sold between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016, the so-called “base sale period”, must be used. If the sales prices of those homes went up, then the assessed value of your home likely showed an increase.

+ How are my property taxes calculated?

The county assessor does not set property taxes or collect payments. However, we can provide the following general information about how your most recent property tax bill (2016 taxes payable in 2017) was calculated, and how to estimate taxes.

To calculate a residential property’s taxes, its actual value is adjusted by the appropriate assessment rate to determine its assessed value. Vacant land and 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. Known 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 2016, the City and County of 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. Further, if the typical single family Denver home in 2016 was valued at about $275,000, the property tax calculation for a typical residential owner was:

Actual Value x Assessment Rate x Mill Rate (Tax Rate) = Taxes If Residence’s Actual Value was $275,000 x 0.0796 x $0.083054 = $1,818.05 (Tax)

As demonstrated above, the tax calculation has three parts. The actual Value comes from the assessor’s property value estimate as described above. The assessment rate is set annually by the State Legislature (the current 7.96% or 29% percentages 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. Taxes are then billed and collected by the county treasurer. These rates are expected to be re-adjusted in December 2017 to keep them in line with the Gallagher statute.

+ How is my residential property's assessment value determined?

For residential properties, appraisers who work for the assessor’s office in the county where the property is located study the sales of homes similar to yours which sold within a specific 24-month period (some counties adhere to an 18-month period ending June 30 prior to January 1 of the tax year) and apply the sales comparison approach. For commercial and industrial properties, the cost, market and income approaches are considered and used where applicable. For business personal property, values are based on the asset value information submitted directly by business owners to the county.

+ How is my commercial property’s assessment value determined?

To value commercial and industrial properties, the cost, market and income approaches must be used where applicable.

+ How is my vacant land’s assessment value determined?

For land, usually the sales comparison approach is used to determine value. However, there are a number of other methods suitable for valuing land such as: Extraction, Allocation, Anticipated Use (or the Developmental Cost Approach), and Capitalized Ground Rent. For developer’s holding an inventory of unsold lots, the “Developer’s Discount” or Present Worth of Vacant Land Method, as the Assessor calls it, can result in up to a 65% tax savings. Contact AVPros for additional information if your property includes an inventory of unsold residential lots - you may be pleasantly surprised.

+ How is my business personal property’s assessment value determined?

For business personal property, values are generally based on the asset value information submitted directly by business owners to the county.

+ Why do we have property assessments?

The Constitution and state laws of Colorado have established real and business personal property assessment procedures and requirements. The values estimated by the county assessor’s office 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 public services including: police, schools, libraries, and fire protection.

+ Are there exemptions for certain types of property?

The Colorado legislature has passed laws which exempt certain types of property from assessment. Certain educational, religious, and non-profit uses are exempt from property taxes. Personal property also has certain exemptions such as computer software application programs and assets which are strictly used for 30-day or less rentals. The Assessor's Office can provide current information about existing and any new exemptions.

+ Is a non-profit organization exempt from property taxes?

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 at Web page: dola.colorado.gov/dpt.