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Land Management

The 2015 Reappraisal: Moderate Increases in Most Property Values

San Miguel Basin Forum of Nucla, Colorado

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Agricultural land experienced the largest increase in value of all property classes in this year's Montrose County Assessor's Office real estate reappraisal. Property owners will be receiving new Notice of Valuations with this year's changes very soon.

Real property classes changed as follows: Vacant land experienced an overall decrease in value of about 2.5 percent. However, most residential land with homes remained unchanged from the prior 2012 level of value. This flat trend in vacant land assessments is attributable to an abundant supply of subdivided lots accompanied by a limited demand for new single-family home sites.

Residential improved properties increased on average about 10 percent. This upward trend in the residential market was further supported by fewer financial institution transactions after foreclosure. During the 2013 reappraisal, 30 percent of the residential transactions involved financial institutions; this figure decreased to 10.4 percent for the 2015 reappraisal.

Commercial property values displayed a wide-range of dispersion. Overall value changes varied greatly depending on the location and type of property. Most commercial properties experienced value changes between a 12.0 percent decrease up to an 8.0 percent increase. Stabilized rental rates, moderate vacancy, and decreasing capitalization rates assisted in maintaining an overall decrease of less than 1 percent for all commercial property as a class. Agricultural land experienced the largest increase in value of all property classes. Agricultural land is valued based on the earning capacity of the land; the calculation uses a ten-year statewide average of commodity prices. For this assessment cycle, two historic "low years" of commodity prices were removed and two recent "higher" priced commodity years were added. The ultimate result was a substantial increase in the overall value of irrigated land in Montrose County. Most agricultural grazing land increased by about 10 percent while the various classes of irrigated land increased approximately 22 percent.

The following is a general review of property assessment and taxes. Three factors determine the level of taxes on a property; the market valuation, the assessment rate, and the mill levy.

(Market Value x Assessment Rate = Taxable Value x Mill levy = Taxes)

The Assessor's office is solely responsible for establishing valuations, not taxes. To accomplish this, the assessor uses actual market sales transactions to build a mass appraisal valuation model that is then used to set the values on all properties within the county. The assessment rate is dictated in the Colorado Constitution for all 64 Colorado Counties. Currently, the assessment rate is 7.96 percent for residential properties, and 29 percent for most all other property types.

The last component used to calculate taxes is the mill levy. Mill levies are established by the county commissioners, school districts, and the boards of the various taxing entities (fire, recreation, library, sanitation, cemetery, etc.). A summation of these various individual levies is applied to the taxable value to determine the taxes due. The County Treasurer's office collects and distributes these taxes for the various taxing jurisdictions.

Ultimately, the assessor's goal is to equalize property values and ensure that the tax burden is distributed fairly and equitably among property owners within the statutory and constitutional guidelines of the State of Colorado.

Under Colorado law, county assessor's offices throughout the state conduct a complete revaluation of all properties in their county every two years. The Colorado Legislature sets the appraisal date, the market sales data collection period, and the annual calendar for the assessment process.

The previous revaluation was completed in 2013 and was based on a June 30, 2012 level of value. These valuations were established using market sales data from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 and were used for tax years 2013 and 2014 (payable in 2014 and 2015 respectively). As a result of the assessment calendar, property tax assessment valuations will always lag behind current market conditions. The current revaluations are based on a June 30, 2014 level of value. The new values have been established using market sales data from January 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 and will be used for tax years 2015 and 2016 (payable in 2016 and 2017 respectively). Any sales transactions occurring after June 30, 2014 cannot be considered until the 2017 reappraisal.

After receiving your new Notice of Valuation in early May 2015, please review the change in value. If you disagree with the revised valuation, there are detailed procedures on the back of the notice explaining how to appeal your valuation. If you would like to review your property characteristics, view sold properties, or research property within the county please go to our property records search program online at From this website, you can also directly link to the Montrose County GIS Map complete with aerial imagery.

If you have any additional questions, concerns, or comments please call the Montrose County Assessor's Office at (970) 249-3753 or email

Copyright 2015 San Miguel Basin Forum, Nucla, Colorado. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: May 7, 2015

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