Commission may conduct own tax-appeal hearings

Sheila Reiner

The Mesa County Commission can save about $10,000 a year by conducting its own hearings on appeals of valuation, the county clerk said Monday.

Commissioners took the idea under advisement.

Based on the county’s experience in 2015, the commissioners could expect to hear about 250 cases.

There is nothing that requires the county to hire hearing officers to deal with appeals by property owners of the valuations of their properties for the purpose of taxation, Clerk Sheila Reiner said.

“The board (of county commissioners) can be the hearing officers,” Reiner said as the commission considered appointing four officers to deal with the appeals, but delayed action.

In 2015, the county assessor’s office dealt with about 3,000 protests, and about 250 of those went to the county Board of Equalization, where hearing officers dealt with them. That number amounted to about a quarter of 1 percent of the total number of valuations done by the assessor’s office, Assessor Ken Brownlee said.

The commission has said it welcomed efficiency measures that help it deal with a projected deficit of as much as $2.7 million.

The commission took no vote on the appointments, but set a March 20 date to act.

That would give officials time to study the proposal, Commissioner Rose Pugliese said.


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This is a change-of-pace:  the Commissioners actually doing something useful!  Sheila Reiner is the only local elected official who has regularly come up with intelligent and constructive ideas.

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