In the year the property values are assessed, I get phone calls from clients asking "Why would I want a lower property value?" I just got off the phone with a current client asking this very question!
The taxes are assessed on the value on your property from 18 months prior to the assessment. This is not a current valuation of the property! If you were to put your property on the market, this figure will not be used for setting the list price. When a seller calls and wants to put their home on the market, a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) is done for the last 4-6 months, to get the current value for listing purposes.
If you have pulled a permit with the County, the newly finished basement will be added to your assessment. If you had an addition added on to your property, or added a covered deck, the County will find this as "added value", and your property value will increase. There are areas of the metro Denver area requiring you pull permits for basements, etc.
On May 1st, the assessor will mail your notice of valuation along with the protest form. If you receive your County Property Tax Assessment, and feel it is too high, give me a call, and I will let you know if there should be an adjustment. The real property protest period is from May 2 - June 1. You can do by email, in person, or on-line. Using comparable property values will help adjust the value of this assessment. If the home owner is not satisfied with the results, they may file an appeal by July 15 for real property with the county board of equalization. There is no guarantee the County will lower the assessment, but may be worth the time and effort to try!
If your property value is lowered, your taxes should decrease as well!
Here is an explanation of this taxation process -
These notices disclose the total ad valorem tax due in 2011 for the tax year 2010, as property taxes in Colorado are collected in arrears. Ad valorem is defined as "according to the value and is a tax imposed on the basis of the monetary value of the taxed item." Real property taxes are an example of ad valorem taxes.
The tax statements received by homeowners will list all tax entities that levy a tax on their subject property. These tax amounts are then multiplied by the number of mills reports by each taxing entity (tax rate) by the total assessed value. These taxes will include school districts, county government, city government, library districts, recreation districts, fire rescue districts, water and sanitation districts, drainage and flood control districts, conservation districts and storm-water districts just to name a few.