With huge leaps in property value assessments across the state, there’s some question about property taxes and where homeowners might find some relief.
In Montrose County, the median increase in residential property’ values was 47% when the Montrose County Tax Assessor’s Office released its new assessments last week.
‘‘Where some houses were valued at $300,000 in 2021, they were valued at $400,000 in 2022,” said Brad Huges, the Montrose County Tax Assessor and Collector. ‘But from June 2022 to now, the data is fairly flat.”
The increase was caused by a few factors, Hughes told the Montrose Business Times. During and after the major waves of the coronavirus pandemic, there were large migrations of people from larger cities to more rural areas like Montrose County. They could move because of the low interest rates at the time.
Homes for those migrating were built or bought, then construction prices and building material costs shot up, causing home values to increase significandy, ‘Values were increasing about 2% per month during the reappraisal period,” Hughes said.
Montrose County wasn’t the only to see a big increase.
Homes in Gunnison County saw a 53% increase, Delta County saw a 45% increase, Ouray County saw a 66% increase, and San Miguel County saw an increase of 58%.
The same happened on the Front Range, with increases of 33-47% in many major counties.
All this spells what could be a sharp increase also in property taxes, if there’s not some relief.
‘It all depends on the mill levies,” Hughes said. The largest taxing entities in Montrose County are the county and the Montrose County School District, which combined collect about 60% of all property taxes.
Governor Jared Polis, in response to the news from county tax assessors across the state, announced a plan to provide relief for property owners.
He introduced a bill, with roughly a week left in the legislative session, that would reduce projected property tax increases by 60% for homeowners.
If passed in the legislature, it would go to Colorado voters in November.
‘It is no secret that Colorado is a great place to live and work, and as our state grows, we must Lake action to ensure people can thrive in the community they love. This proposal will cut the average homeowners’ tax increase in half and deliver long-term relief to protect people, especially seniors on a fixed income, from being priced out of their homes,” said Polis in a released statement. ‘I appreciate the legislature’s partnership to provide real relief on property taxes and save Coloradans money.”
The governor’s bill has other WTitten in proposed protections and means of tax relief.
Other property tax relief and protections proposed in this plan include: Reducing the residential assessment rate from 7.15% to 6.7% in 2023 and 2024, and continuing this reduction for primary residences (not second homes or investment properties) in future years.
Reducing the taxable value of residences by $40,000 in 2023 and 2024, and continuing this reduction for primary residences (not second homes or investment properties) in future years.
Capping the growth in district property tax collections excluding school districts at inflation and allowing local governments to override the cap after giving notice to property owners.
Protecting funding for public education and backfill revenue to fire districts, water districts, ambulance and hospital districts in areas of the state that aren’t growing as fast by dedicating a portion of the state TABOR surplus to backfill.
Providing seniors who currently receive the Homestead Exemption a larger reduction of $140,000 and allowing them to continue to receive this reduction if they move.
Not everyone is a proponent of the plan, however.
Those opposed to the bill argue that it’s not a tax cut when Polis’ plan is to use money normally refunded to Coloradans because of the taxpayer bill of rights (TABOR) to instead fund property tax cuts — basically, funding the property tax cuts with a hike on income taxes.
The bill was proposed on May 2, and as of press time Friday, it had not yet passed legislature.
Justin Tubbs is Montrose Business Times editor. You can reach him by email at email@example.com or by phone at 970-765-0915 or 254-246-2260.