The assessor determines the actual (market) value for all real and personal property. Then a percentage (assessment rate) is multiplied by the actual value to come up with the assessed value. In Colorado the improved residential assessment rate is currently 7.15%. For all other properties including vacant land and agricultural land, the assessment rate is 29%.
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Values are most often determined by comparing your property with sold properties that are similar in location, design, size, age, and amenities. The Notice of Value you received in 2019 was based on sales that occurred between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. This method is known as the Sales Comparison Approach to value.
Colorado law requires all assessors to reappraise all real property, including land and improvements, every two years during odd-numbered years.
The actual value is multiplied by the assessment rate which is then multiplied by the mill levy. Example: Actual value is ($100,000 x 7.15% (residential assessment rate) x 63.603 mills)/1000 = $454.76 taxes due.
Tax rates are established by each individual taxing authority such as the schools, county, fire, water, sanitation, library, and recreation districts. The individual authorities that provide services to you are listed on your property tax statement. The assessor’s office has no control over the taxing authorities and their mill levies.
A property tax exemption is available to senior citizens, surviving spouses of previously qualified senior citizens, and disabled veterans. For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted. The State of Colorado pays the exempted portion of the property tax. Once approved, the exemption remains in effect for future years, and the applicant should not re-apply.
Applicants who meet each of the following requirements may qualify for the senior exemption.