Homeowners,  businesses to shoulder bill, assessor says

Homeowners and businesses will bear the tax bill approved Monday by the Colorado Supreme Court.

“If your property value goes up 10 percent this time around, you’re going to pay 10 percent more to the schools,” Mesa County Assessor Barbara Brewer said.

The high court’s ruling comes just as assessors across the state are preparing to send out tax notices on May 1, based on reappraisals of all properties.

That means the additional taxes will be felt especially hard on the Western Slope.

The notices of valuation on which the tax bills are based were set as of June 30, 2008, “which was pretty much the top of the market,” Garfield County Assessor John Gorman said.

Since then, the price of gas has tumbled and energy companies large and small have retreated across western Colorado.

“A lot of people are going to get their notices of valuation and go, ‘Excuse me,’ ” Gorman said.

“It’s the real estate industry and real estate owners who are going to be so dramatically affected.”

The current market value of a home might well be less than its valuation for tax purposes, “but assessors don’t have a whole lot of latitude” to take into account changed economic conditions, Brewer said.

“It’s homeowners, just regular people, who are going to be most affected by this,” Gorman said.
Front Range homeowners and businesses, whose valuations have stayed relatively flat, stand to see little effect on their tax bills, Brewer said.


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