Property tax bills mailed Monday

Moffat County assessor: Values increased across the board, partly due to school, hospital bonds

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Pay your taxes

Property owners can pay their property tax in either one or two installments. The following are tax due dates.

One payment: by April 30

Two payments: first half by Feb. 29; second half by June 15

Those with questions can call the Moffat County Assessor's Office at 824-9102.

— Property owners may remember getting a notice of value on their property from the Moffat County Assessor's Office in May 2007.

Although it can be nice to see a property's worth increase, it might not be so nice to see the taxes go up, as well.

Moffat County property owners likely will open tax bill envelopes soon, since Treasurer Robert Razzano mailed them Monday. When that happens, owners should take into account recent bond elections before coming to the county, Assessor Suzanne Brinks said.

"People have to remember, as they're getting their tax bills, the value of their property increased, and they have to remember they voted in almost 8 mills for the (Moffat County) School District and (The Memorial Hospital) bonds last November," Brinks said.

Because of the bonds passed, taxes for each $150,000 of value on a residential property increased slightly more than $95, Brinks said.

The state offered a protest period regarding property values when assessors sent out last year's notices, she added. Moffat County had about 300, which was about normal and not significant considering the number of property owners in the county, the assessor said.

Her office will be open to questions.

"We're always willing to answer any questions people might have," Brinks said.

Values went up across the board. Because the state uses odd-number years to revalue locally assessed property, Brinks' office assessed all residential, commercial and non-use property in the county.

"Residential property, just across the board, went up about 25 percent," Brinks said.

Commercial property went up about 20 percent, she added.

It's a trend that keeps continuing and has not shown any signs of leveling off, Brinks said.

In total, the county's assessed value increased about $56 million, from $418 million to $474 million.

"This is the highest assessed value for the county since I've been in this office," said Brinks, who has been in the Assessor's Office since 1987. "Last year, in 2006, $418 (million) had been the highest. The year before that was the highest. The last five years have been higher than the last."

Property sale prices are going up along with property prices, Brinks added.

"The economy right now is going up, not down," she said.

Most value increases can be traced back to regional oil and gas activity, she said.

Property owners who choose to pay property taxes in two parts need to have the first half paid by Feb. 29 and the second half by June 15.

Full payments are due by April 30.

Those with questions about their property taxes can call the Assessor's Office at 824-9102.

Comments

George Robertson 6 years, 10 months ago

The only way to keep government from getting bigger is to stop funding it!

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taxslave 6 years, 10 months ago

I beg to differ with the assessor or he needs to catch up. Due to the mortgage crisis in this country, the unavailability of credit, etc.......property values NATION WIDE are DOWN and will continue to drop. The adverage 401K/pension fund will loose 35-40%, equity in home "gone", value of your savings in the bank is cut by 25%

If this county added a 25% value increase on top of the new 8 mills than SHAME ON THEM. Let them take your house...odds are, if you purchased recently you're upside down in value. Make sure you challenge them.

When will everyone wake up and realize you are working for the government 5 months of the year and here you happily voted in a hugh increase of taxes and the bonds for this project aren't even acquired yet.

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cforevereyez 6 years, 10 months ago

My property taxes in Craig increased !00% from last year. I am stunned. A 100% increase in ONE year. This isn't taxation, this is theft.

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lonelyone 6 years, 10 months ago

I have heard several stoires of how these taxes have gone up. It is shocking in many cases. Along with the fact that your home taxes went up, I suppose you noticed or maybe not because your in such shock over your property taxes, that the city raised the water and sewer rates again?!?!? Wouldn't it be nice if we had the option of raising our wages when ever we felt like it so we could meet all the demands on our money from others who think nothing of raising their rates because they've decided they can't do the same job for what they were doing it for?!?!? What a terrible cycle that would create! I don't know what the answers might be but sooner or later it's got to stop!

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cforevereyez 6 years, 10 months ago

That $15 that was supposed to be my fair share to pay for the hospital, magically turned into $50. Maybe Samantha can chime in here and lie to us some more about how little this is going to cost us. How about it Sam? I could use some more lies to make me feel better. Please, lie to me!

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CindyLou 6 years, 10 months ago

I am glad my property taxes only increased $50 like the school and hospital told me it would. With the increase in property value and the Mill Levy my taxes jumped about 30% in one year. I will be paying about $500 more this year than last year. I can't wait for the next bleeding heart to ask me for a tax increase. You will see me campaigning door to door against it. If I could repeal the last two I would. I think we all got took by a bunch of used car salesman.

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lonelyone 6 years, 10 months ago

OK, lets be fair here. I don't think we were lied to as bad as you want to think, by the mill levy stuff. It is the County Assessor who did a evaluation of property through out the county and I truely believe that is where the majority of the increase came from. Since your property value increased, that means your mill levy is now higher then what you thought it would be. There was a time period where you could protest these increases but I think most of us don't have a clue what these notices mean unitl we get the bills. I am thankful mine didn't go up more then it did and truely feel sorry for those of you that have had such a major increase. The well is about to run dry for many of us and we can't afford all these increases much longer. And that is not only from your county taxes, but from your city and your gas and electric providers. They all think we've got deep pockets but I pretty much only have lint left in mine!!

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vic 6 years, 10 months ago

I was a bit surprised as my tax increase was around $250. The increase was caused more by rising property values than new taxes...our taxes would have been higher this year anyway. I am not complaining. We still have some of the lowest taxes across the land and I would have voted for the schools and hospital (and Fire Dept) even if I had the new tax bill in hand. And who can complain that their property is increasing in value?

If we want balanced growth for Craig, we have to pay for it. I hear people complain about the crappy schools here, then in the next breath complain about rising taxes. Hasn't anyone ever played Sim City?

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bambam 6 years, 10 months ago

once again here we are split on the issue's of money and rightfully so. Some got what they were told and other not, as for myself,...not my taxes are going up about $150.00, and i didn't even want the increase. Yes I understand that a hospital was probably necessary , and the school's but if you dont have people competent enough to run the facilities then you are no better off than the current goverment we have in place. in fact there seems to be some similarities, both have a speeker representing there interest asking for money & making promises (at whatever cost as long as they look googd to the public, thanks Mr. Bush & S. Johnston).And when things don't go as they told everyone they don't have any answeres, or just more excuses.So who's going to help pay the difference? Maybe Ms. Johnston should send out rebate checks also to help us feel better about the hosing we just took .

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vic 6 years, 10 months ago

As commonly found across the country, (some) people want something for nothing and it simply does not work that way. There are trade-offs for everything. Personally, I like to see my property value increasing. That tells me buying a home here was a good investment...not that I foresee wanting to sell...but it's nice to feel confident that I have an Ace in the hole.

As for our government...I am generally pleased with our local government. Keep in mind, they are mere mortals and therefore not perfect. For a general comparison, sit in on a Steamboat Springs city council meeting, then a Craig city council meeting. They are worlds apart and I will take this one any day. In addition, I have to say...our local government is comprised of local citizens...just normal everyday people. They have families, jobs and other various responsibilities and still have the fortitude to take on the thankless job of running this city. I don't feel I have the right to complain unless I am willing to throw my name in the hat.

And if you hate Pres Bush, just wait. Our upcoming election makes me ill to even think about. There is NO one to vote for that will (in my opinion) be good for our country. I now understand why the Mayan calendar ends in 2012. We are in a world of trouble.

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JenniferRiley 6 years, 10 months ago

I work in the Assessor's Office, and I would like to clarify some misinformation being shared on this forum. Specifically, Samantha Johnston and administrators with the School District have not lied to the taxpayers about the amount their taxes would increase if the voters approved mill levy increases for the hospital and new school.

During the campaigns, tax increases were figured on an average home value of $150,000. The school district estimated a mill levy increase of 5.101. This mill levy would generate taxes of $60.91 per year ($5.08/month). The hospital asked for a mill levy increase of 3 mills. This mill levy would generate taxes of $35.82 per year (approximately $3/month).

Last year (2007) was also a reappraisal year for our office. Notices of value were sent to taxpayers in May notifying taxpayers of the change in their properties' values. An increase in value often means an increase in property taxes.

For example, if your property was valued at $120,000 in 2006, your taxes would have been $679.59. If that property's value increased by $30,000 to $150,000 in 2007, your taxes would increase by $169.90 to $849.48 without adding in the new mill levies. With the school district's levy and the hospital's levy, there is an additional $95.73 added to the increase of $169.90.

The tax increases property owners are seeing are due only IN PART because of the voter approved mill levy increases.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your property valuations (not your tax bill), please call our office. We would be happy to answer your questions. As always, the month of May is your opportunity to protest your property valuations. Any adjustments made to property values in May will impact the taxes you pay NEXT year.

Jennifer Riley Chief Appraiser Moffat County Assessor's Office 970-824-9102

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CindyLou 6 years, 10 months ago

Why didn't they just use an average house value of $50 and then our tax increase would have seemed really small. I am still of the mind set that Steamboat and Craig have really worked our communities over. If we had a facility in Hayden we wouldn't be paying twice the sallaries and twice the overhead (works for the airport). Actually most people don't ever use the hospital, and those that do don't ever use it for an emergency. Schools on the other hand are used by a very large portion of the community. I would be interested in knowing what percentage of the people actually use the hospital. I don't mean to go get their blood drawn or get an xray because their arm hurts, all of which don't require a hospital to receive those things, but actually use the hospital. How many people have actually had to spend the night or cut on. I am pretty sure it would probably only be about 5% of the total population and most of them could have traveled 17 miles to Hayden if the two communities weren't being run by people who think we need to compete with one another rather than work with each other.

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Neal Harkner 6 years, 10 months ago

$849.48 for a $150,000 house? Sold! My house here in TX appraised for $175,000 and my tax bill was $3650.

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anothervoice 6 years, 10 months ago

I think the main problem with most of these negative comments towards the rise in property value is that no one understands how the Assessor's Office does there job. They use data that the citizens of the County provide: ie. the prices they pay for houses. I encourage you all to pay attention to the sales that are posted in the paper and then check with the Assessor's office to see what the property is valued at. I can guarantee that 95% of the time it will sell for more than the Assessor has it valued for, and contradictory to popular belief the Assessor's Office is trying to assess your property at market value. Just because the market is failing in other places, clearly the sales have not shown that in Craig. The staff of the Moffat County Assessor's office is the most competent in the entire Moffat County government system, the most educated and the most qualified. Their jobs are not easy and they do them well.

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grannyrett 6 years, 10 months ago

It is all moot anyway. You had a chance to protest your appraisal. If you didn't do it, you can't blame anyone but yourself. You voted to build a new hospital, and it is really needed. I know taxes are hard to pay for some people, but taxes in Moffat County are low compared to other parts of the country-like Harkner said.

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CindyLou 6 years, 10 months ago

Native - I am not arguing the fact that healthcare isn't important, nor am I arguing the fact that we have an "older" hospital. If you have lived in this town as long as I have you would know that large additions and remodels were made on the hospital in the 80's and major remodels took place in the 90's. That makes the majority of the hospital only about 20+ years old and not 60 years old. What I am concerned about is 1) a County Assessor's office who is chasing after the market trying to value my home based on the inflated sales prices that are being caused by overzealous bankers (read the Denver Post) because of an artificial shortage caused by our energy boom. You must be a transplant or a young'n and not mature enough in years or experience to realize what life is like after a boom goes bust. What happens when the energy money goes away and most of the new people who came into Craig with the "progress" you speak of, have a house they can't sell for half what they paid for it? Have you ever seen a County Assessor's office in this county value property that is in good repair downward? Not in my 50+ years has that happened. 2) Your TV must not get any news channels where you live because we have a health care crisis in this country and building big buildings is not the answer. What is our little hospital going to do when over half our town doesn't have insurance? Employers across the country are dropping coverage for their patients because insurance costs too much. And Native do you know why insurance costs tooooo much? Because health care costs too much. And why does health care cost too much? Because idiots all over this country are doing stupid things, like building a $50 million dollar building out in the middle of nowhere. How is this hospital suppose to pay off the debt when it can't even turn a profit as it is? I can guarantee that this one will have to raise their prices drastically to squeeze every drop they can out of those who have insurance. That leaves us small business owners who can't afford health insurance and who can't run and hide from their debt on the hook for even more of the price tag of this hospital. Also, when Medicare and Medicaid start making major cutbacks (CNN, Fox News, and MSN are good sources for this front page news) the hospital won't even have that to rely on. With no big insurance and no government funding guess who is going to have to pony up and bail the hospital out? It won't be the people managing it because they will have rode off into the sunset with a feather in their hat like Yankee-doodle, and the county will be left to clean up the spilled macaroni. And when I say "County" I am not talking about the "majority" of non-home owners and transients who voted for the tax increase, on what the Colorado Secretary of State said were, "decertified electronic machines", but those who will be here long after our hospital managers and energy-transplants have left the area.

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CindyLou 6 years, 10 months ago

Native - Oh, one other thing, you never addressed my point as to why Steamboat and Craig hospital are in "competition" and not working together for healthcare. What I would be intrested in seeing is a hospital report on how many individuals (don't count the same person twice, because my cousin's mom is 89 and she is in and out of that place every other week, probably accounts for half of the hospitals visits, and should have gone to junction for her nursing home care years ago) have been through the facility in the last year, then break them out according to who needed emergency, life saving medicine, and who could have made it to Steamboat (or Hayden if our two communities had colaborated on a single hospital). And since my doctor sends my laboratory work to Denver we probably shouldn't count lab work. And when aunt Vergie goes to the hospital, most of those visits could have been eliminated if she had been in a nursing home instead of the hospital, so eliminate those nursing home visits the hospital does too. If we got right down to what is essential for Moffat County we would have a really nice emergency room with some x-rays, a small lab, a helicopter pad, and some really nice ambulances. The rest is just fluff and a feather to put in someone's hat.

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Globe 6 years, 10 months ago

Taxes are low here compared to other places in the country !!!!! That has to be the supidest one-line comment I have ever heard. Everything is relative and to compare tax dollars to tax dollars is stupid. The reason other places have higher taxes is because they have progressive people who can't keep there hands out of the cookie jar and keep voting more and more taxes for a bunch of crap they don't need or use. If you want a lot of extra facilities, government, and beuracracy like all those other places then yes you are going to have higher taxes that is of little doubt. Most people move to rural America to escape that garbage, not to bring it with them. Yes, most all did exercise their agency and protest the tax increases, but that does about as much good as pissing in the wind.

The next thing you know people like Native and Granny will want to raise my taxes so they can get a rec-center built and not have to pay to go to Trapper. Sure it will be nice and they won't have to pay for any of it, I wil and others like me who now pay more for their taxes than what their monthly mortgage is. What comes after the recreation center? A new events complex at the fair grounds? A new city hall? New county office buildings? Retirement homes for ex-city and county officials? It all boils down to an organized group who has one hand out asking for more while the other one is rifling through my pockets. But I guess people like Native and Granny are just following the American dream of buy now and pay latter. Sadly enough though, you were also able to add my name and everyone else's who didn't vot for tax increases as co-signers to debt we can't afford. We're not investing in the future, we're investing in today and hoping someone in the future will be kind enough to pick up the tab.

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grannyrett 6 years, 10 months ago

Globe-I have paid my share of taxes in our fair county. Where do you get off thinking otherwise? I know it is hard to come up with the money to pay taxes. That is why you have the option to pay it in two payments. I have never voted for a rec center. I have always felt that it is a parents job to entertain their kids. Not mine with more tax dollars. That hospital has needed replaced for years. I'm glad they are finally going to do it. I lived in Craig for over 50 years. Protesting your appraisal works. I have done it, and got my appraisal lowered. If you don't try, and just sit and gripe about it, you get what you deserve. So, go ahead and piss in the wind-just make sure you are standing on the upwind side of it.

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Globe 6 years, 10 months ago

Native -- so according to your logic we better buy a new helicopter so it can sit out here waiting for someone to use it because they can't wait for one to fly up from junction (your logic as to why a person can't go to YVMC). But a 2.5 million dollar helicopter really isn't fast enough, we probably should have a 3.5 million dollar Cesna Citation turbo-prop so we can really save lives. What about heart surgeons and radiation therapy? When is the hospital going to want to get that? They can't even keep our local docs from wanting to bail (get your local doc by them self and let them tell you what they really think of the hospital management and it will surprise you). But you are probably right. We will build a multi-million dollar hospital and the doctor shortage facing this country is going to magically disappear. Bejillions of hospitals have nicer facilities than what is going to be built here and people like you think ours is going to encourage a flood of applicants to move here (you must be inhaling the fumes off the stuff you're shoveling). When the hospital has to lay-off a bunch of people because of cutbacks just so they can stay afloat, I hope you're not one of them, because how could we ever make it without your logic?

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grannyrett 6 years, 10 months ago

Globe-You are flogging a dead horse. The people voted and the majority of them wanted a new hospital. If you have a real problem with it, maybe you better find a cave on BLM land and crawl into it. If you have a choice between a new house and an old-60 year old house, which one are you going to want? Same goes with doctors. A new hospital will be something this community can be proud of for years. It shows that we care enough for those that are sick , or need any of the services that a hospital provides, to want the best for our families and friends.

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