Valuations are rising, but not tax bills, assessor says

Valuation notices that went out to Mesa County property owners last week show growing property values, but the tax bills that are based on them will reflect no new taxes.

The mill levy will be adjusted to keep revenues to counties — and costs to taxpayers — as they are now, despite the increased valuation, Mesa County Assessor Ken Brownlee said.

And by the time actual bills go out, costs for property owners could slip even more as the Legislature considers where to peg the residential assessment rate.

The notices his office sent out are based on a 7.96 percent tax rate, but the Legislature is considering using a 7.2 percent residential assessment rate, which, if enacted, will lower the tax bills the treasurer sends out in January.

Mesa County property taxes remain below the national average and below those of several other Colorado counties, according to figures compiled by Brownlee’s office.

The tax on an approximately median-value $220,000 house in Mesa County would be $998. The tax on the same house would be $1,718 in Adams County, $1,304 in Denver County and $1,030 in Montrose County.

The tax would be $1,628 on such a house in Salt Lake City and $1,329 in Green River, Utah. The U.S. national average for such a house is $2,664.

Property owners who wish to question the valuation of their properties — and there have been some who thought they weren’t being taxed enough — can discuss their valuations with assessor’s office staff through the end of May.

Mesa County has 14 appraisers and just under 80,000 tax parcels, and the assessor’s office uses mass-appraisal techniques, meaning that there often is room for additional information, Brownlee said.

Property owners can meet with appraisers in the ground floor meeting room of the courthouse annex, 544 Rood Ave., next to the assessor’s office.


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