Valuations a ‘mixed bag’ this year, assessor says

Some homes increased in value while others slipped

Property valuations in Mesa County are “a mixed bag,” this year, Assessor Barbara Brewer said.

Notices of valuation were mailed last week to property owners in the county, marking the beginning of the appeal period, which ends June 3.

Once appeals are completed, Brewer will make a formal report to the Mesa County Commission in July.

Last year, assessed valuations of property in Mesa County amounted to $2.028 billion, down from the previous year’s $2.3 billion.

The lower assessed valuation of 2011 resulted in a drop of about $80,000 in property-tax revenue in 2012.

The effect of the regional economy on local residential properties has resulted in some homeowners seeing high assessed valuations and others seeing lower valuation, Brewer said.

Foreclosures have an indirect effect on assessed valuations, Brewer said.

Because foreclosures are distress sales, “We don’t count them in our calculations, but when they come back on the market, it has an impact on the value of property overall,” Brewer said.

Some property owners have questioned their assessed valuations, contending that the calculations result in valuations that are too low, Brewer said.

“Unless there’s some compelling reason that we don’t know about, we’re probably going to leave (the valuation) where it is,” Brewer said.

Commercial property assessed valuations are similar to residential properties — “all over the place,” Brewer said.

Many property owners also are seeing their valuations correcting from 2007-2008, when a natural gas-driven boom was inflating the western Colorado economy.

“Our values were good based on the market, but I think the market was out of control,” Brewer said. “Now, hopefully, we’ll see a more reasonable rate” of growth in valuations. “Let’s just put it this way, I hope we have bottomed out.”

Appointments to dispute assessed valuations can be made by calling the Assessor’s Office at 244-1720.


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