Frequently Asked Tax Protest Questions
How is your property value determined?
For the 2017 and 2018 appeals, the actual value assigned to vacant land, residential
and commercial properties is based on sales and other market data from
July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016. This data gathering period is prescribed
by Colorado statutes. In situations where there are insufficient sales,
data from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2016 may be utilized. All sales
or market data is adjusted for time to the June 30, 2016 appraisal date.
Values are determined utilizing the Sales Comparison Approach, which
compares your property with properties that are similar in location, design,
size, age, and amenities. For non-residential property, the cost and the
income approaches to value are also considered.
What should I do if I disagree with the value?
Colorado Statutes identify the month of May as the time for you to contact
your County Assessor concerning your valuation. You may protest in person
or by mail. If you protest by mail, it must be postmarked by June 1, 2017.
If you appoint an agent to act on your behalf, that person needs your
written authorization. Please keep in mind that you should provide information
to support your estimate of value if it differs from that estimated by
the Assessor's office. The Assessors office will only consider
appeals for the valuation of the property, not the amount of taxes you
For professional assistance handling your protest, Order
a Property Tax Report from Eagle County Tax Appeal.
I'm not sure if I should appeal or not. How can I find
out the sales prices of
properties in my neighborhood for the 18-month period prior to June 30,
Two ways to obtain this information are:
- Visit your county's Assessor's office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
They will provide you with a list of comparable sales which were considered
in the valuation of your property. Keep in mind that the data provided
by the Assessor's office is often difficult to decipher and typically
requires extensive research to determine it's relationship with the
value assigned by the Assessor.
- Seek information from a local real estate professional.
For professional assistance in determining the reasonableness of the
value assigned by the Assessor, order a Feasibility
Appraisal from Eagle County Tax Appeal! Receive "user friendly"
Subject Property and Comparable Sales Data on file with Eagle County.
Benefit from MLS Data on comparable sales which were listed with
the local brokerage community. You will be provided a free Tax Protest
Guide to help you in the preparation and submission of a successful
protest. More Info . . .
If my house was not complete in June 2017, shouldn't it
be valued at "zero?"
No. The Assessor is required to value each property as it existed on
January 1 of the
current year. If it was complete by January 1, 2017, then it will be valued
for 2017, at a June 30, 2016 level of value.
How are the assessment rates determined?
The assessment rate, which is used to calculate the assessed value, is
determined by the Colorado Constitution and statutes. Please note that
higher assessment rates result in greater tax liabilities. For 2007-2012
the assessment rates are as follows:
Oil & Gas:
7.96% (Note: residential property must have a residence present)
29% (Note: Property is valued as Agricultural property as opposed
to Residential property, usually resulting in a lower actual value
and tax basis.)
9.15% (if used as a residence)
87.5 % of production value if primary well; 75% of production value
if secondary well
Only the residential assessment rate may be adjusted by the Colorado
Legislature. The residential rate is set every two years, during the year
How are your taxes calculated?
The following formula is used to calculate the dollar amount of taxes
Actual Value X Assessment Rate X Mill levy =
Property Taxes Due
The actual value of each property in Eagle County is estimated
by the Assessor's Office.
The mill levies are set each year by the taxing authorities that
benefit from the taxes:
Cities and towns
Fire, water and sanitation districts
Other special districts
The districts, which levy taxes on your property, are listed on your
Doesn't the TABOR Amendment of 1992 prevent my taxes
No. The TABOR Amendment (Amendment I of 1992) controls the amount that
state and local governments can collect and spend. It does not limit the
of increase of an individual tax bill. Additionally, many tax districts have elected to take away the constraints of the Tabor Amendment (known ad De-Bruceing).
Why don't all properties increase or decrease by the
Some people believe the previous (2015/2016) values are simply multiplied
by an inflation
factor, but in a reappraisal, all the data from the relevant time frame
(July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2016) is considered. This data is analyzed
using mass appraisal techniques to reflect the increased, stable, or decreased
values of county properties.
Why Would Your Property be Over-Valued by the County
The Eagle County Assessors office has a very difficult task. They must
assign values to more than 60,000 properties. And, the diverse array of
properties in the county increases the complexity of this task. The Eagle
County Assessors office includes an experienced and professional staff.
They employ competent technological systems and utilize accepted appraisal
methodologies, fully complying with state regulations. In most situations,
the values assigned to county properties are quite reasonable.
However, the time constraints involved in valuing such a large number
of unique properties necessitates the use of Mass Appraisal techniques.
Mass appraisal methodology involves the use of regression analysis. This
methodology often does not properly account for meaningful differences
in value, such as views, locations, renovation of properties, and unique
appeal characteristics. When the sales data from a neighborhood is diverse,
mass appraisal methodology can easily result in inappropriate valuations
to many properties.
This is the reason why mortgage lenders and banks do not accept the county
assessed valuations when making real estate loans and mortgages. Assessed
valuations just do not provide the level of accuracy required to secure
the lenders interests in lending situations.
Why Does the Use of Mass Appraisal Methodology Result
The reliability of Mass Appraisal methodology is directly dependent on
- Similarity of the available comparable sales data.
- The accuracy of the subject and comparable sales data.
Similarity of Comparable Sales Data: It is important to remember
that the greater the number of differences between a property and a comparable
sale, the greater the chance of making an error in quantifying the market
adjustment for that difference. Therefore, if the sales data utilized
to value your property differs substantially, there is a stronger likelihood
of an unjust valuation being assigned to your property.
Properties within the same neighborhood and market segment can vary significantly
in size, quality, effective age, and views. The effective sales price
can be significantly influenced by concessions and personal property such
as furnishings and club memberships. Furthermore, these markets are sometimes
volatile with the actions of motivated buyers and sellers sometimes skewing
Accuracy of Subject & Comparable Sales Data: Keep in mind
that no matter what appraisal methodology is utilized, its reliability
is directly related to the reliability of the data for each Subject Property
and the Comparable Sales utilized to estimate value. Unfortunately, there
are many errors in the County data. Errors are made in characterizing
properties. Properties change, and the county staff is unaware of the
changes. Sellers do not fill out the Transfer Declaration forms correctly,
resulting in inappropriate Effective Sales Prices of comparable sales.
Through research, these errors may be rectified, resulting in successful
tax protests that save taxpayers significant sums of money. The
staff of Eagle County Tax Appeal is prepared to perform research to detect
What Alternatives are Available to Mass Appraisal Methodologies?
An alternative to the mass appraisal process is the more accurate direct
comparison of properties utilizing the Sales Comparison Approach. It is
the methodology which is primarily utilized by appraisers in the preparation
of appraisals for mortgage lending situations. This approach utilizes
a direct comparison of your property to the most similar comparable sales
to provide an opinion of value. Eagle County Tax Appeal utilizes the Sales
Comparison Approach in the preparation of tax appeals for our clients.
How could there be an error in quantifying your property?
Three main reasons: Human error, subjective judgment, and changes to
the property since it was last quantified by the county assessor's staff.
The county appraiser staff has to quantify and value more than 40,000
properties. On the whole, the county staff does good work. But, errors
can be made in measuring the various areas and components of your property.
Errors can be made in the assignment of the quality rating of your home,
or changes to your property may not have been taken into account.
Why don't more people challenge their high property
Most people have no idea how to determine if they are being overcharged.
The property taxing authorities do not want you to be curious about the
value they place on your house and property. They do not have the time
or manpower to establish accurate assessment figures. And, since less
than 1 percent of the national population typically appeal their taxes,
why should they bother? Equalization or equal treatment is very difficult,
so you have to check for overcharges yourself. The Property Tax Bill offers
the greatest potential savings of the expenses your property incurs.
If you lose your initial property tax protest, can
you challenge again?
There are three (3) main stages involved in the process of appealing
your assessed valuation.
1st Stage Protest: Your initial appeal is directed to the
Eagle County Assessor's office. The Eagle County Assessor's office
will provide a written response to the taxpayer by the last working
day of June 2017.
2nd Stage Protest: If you are not satisfied with the
assessor's decision, a written appeal must be filed with the County
Board of Equalization (CBOE). The appeal must be postmarked or delivered
on or before July 15, 2017. You will be notified of a hearing date
to present your appeal to hearing officers of the CBOE.
3rd Stage Protest: The CBOE's decision will be issued no later
than August 10, 2017. If you are not satisfied with the decision,
an appeal must be submitted to one of the following:
- District Court,
- Board of Assessment Appeals, or
- A request for Arbitration with the County Commissioners. The
appeal must be submitted in writing no later than thirty (30)
days after the CBOE's decision is mailed. The Board is required
to give at least 30 days notice prior to the hearing; however,
a notice of hearing is usually mailed 45 to 60 days prior to the
scheduled hearing date.
If you disagree with the decision of the District Court or the Board
of Assessment Appeals, you have the right to appeal this decision to the
Court of Appeals for judicial review within 45 days from the date of the
Board's decision. Decisions of Arbitration with the County Commissioners
Can my valuation increase through the protest process?
Yes, however, this is very rare. Increases in value usually occur when
the county finds an error in quantifying the size or quality of your property.
If you have an appeal pending, do you have to pay your
Yes. To avoid penalties and interest, all taxes must be paid by the delinquency
data. You will receive a refund if an appeal is later settled in your
What if the county has your square footage listed incorrectly?
You may request the county appraisal staff to perform a field check of
your property. Or, for additional fees, you may request the
staff of Eagle County Tax Appeal to perform an on-site inspection to determine
the accuracy of the county data.
Should you hire Eagle County Tax Appeal or should you
prepare your own protest?
The advantage of hiring us is you have a full-time professional armed
with vast databases and extensive experience valuing residential properties
in Eagle County. We have extensive experience handling tax appeals and
understand the property tax protest process.
Many private parties handle their own property tax protests. However,
a significant amount of time is required to prepare a successful tax protest.
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