Craig To the Editor:
I have gotten calls this week asking, "How are you and your office surviving all the complaints about taxes since the tax bills were mailed last Monday?"
Frankly, the calls have not increased from prior years. Every year after tax notices are mailed, we are barraged with phone calls and complaints. This happens even in years when taxes have decreased.
The purpose of this letter is to address some of the ugly comments that have been made about Moffat County School District personnel and Samantha Johnston, an employee of The Memorial Hospital, and accusations that they are liars and how people were totally misled about the tax increases associated with the mill levies to each of the entities.
These people did not lie to the public. They were estimating what taxes would be on a residence valued at $150,000.
The increase on the school mill levy of 5.101 was approximately $60 (or about $5 a month). The increase on the hospital mill levy was approximately $36 (or about $3 a month).
The largest part of the tax increase was because 2007 was a reappraisal year, in my office, and all property in the county was revalued. Notices of Value indicating changes to value were mailed to all taxpayers May 1.
The entire month of May every year is a taxpayers opportunity to protest or question the value of their property. If your notice showed the prior year's value was $120,000 and the new value was shown as $150,000 that is an increase of $30,000, and this increase would be about $170 dollars.
In 2007 (the 2006 tax roll) the taxes for the above house valued at $120,000 would have been approximately $680.00. The new value of $150,000 would generate a tax bill for approximately $950 and, as stated above, the majority of this increase was due to the increased value of the property. Property taxes are also called ad valorem taxes; ad valorem is Latin, which means according to value.
I started working in the Assessor's Office in 1987. At that time, most of the property transfers I did were foreclosures. I owed more on my house at that time than I could have sold it for. We are currently experiencing rising property values and healthy growth in our county. I don't think any of us want to go back to the days when our properties were worth less than what we paid for them.
As I have said in the past, if you have any questions about your property value, my office will address your concerns.
The month of May, every year, is protest period.
This is the time to question the value placed on your property, not after you have received your tax bill. As a property owner, you cannot protest the amount of your taxes to my office. We can only address the value placed on the property. My office does not set the mill levies. Mill levies are set by the governing boards of the various taxing authorities.
Moffat County Assessor