Property values going up, taxes may follow

Value-notice protests accepted through June 1


— Property in Moffat County - including all residential, commercial, industrial and vacant land - increased in value by an average of about 20 percent this year, Moffat County Assessor Suzanne Brinks said.

Property owners can expect to receive a notice near May 4 stating the new value. The values will apply to taxes paid in 2010 and 2011.

Values are directly tied to the amount of taxes a property owner will pay. If the local and state mill levies remain the same for 2010 - they're set each December - then the average property tax bill in Moffat County will increase by the same 20 percent, Moffat County Assessor Suzanne Brinks said.

Her office will be accepting residents' protests through June 1.

"We'll address anyone's concerns," she said. "That's why we're here."

However, citizens cannot protest their taxes because they're too high, Brinks added. They are encouraged to protest their values when they believe a mistake has been made - such as misclassifying a residence as a business - but the Assessor's Office does not set tax levels.

To help explain what's coming, the Assessor's Office hosted a free public forum Tuesday morning at the Moffat County Courthouse for business owners. Brinks said the forum was designated for business appraisals because they are more complicated than residential.

State law requires assessors to appraise residential properties based on their market value, the amount paid for purchases of the same type of home. Other properties have different formulas that can be applied at the assessor's discretion.

In all cases, the Assessor's Office cannot control what to value a certain property, said John Zimmerman, a commercial appraiser contracted to handle Moffat County valuations for the past six years who lead the presentation.

"The values are what the values are," he said. "We can't control, really, how much the tax burden is going to be. We're not out to raise taxes or reclassify buildings to be mean or to raise more revenue. I know a lot of you might not believe this, but the assessor does not want to overvalue your property."

The Assessor's Office also cannot "cheat" and lower property values, because the state audits the county's each year and would raise them back up regardless, Zimmerman said.

This year's revaluations are based on real estate sales between Jan. 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, which Zimmerman acknowledged ended before the national economy hit its lowest marks.

However, even if he was allowed by the state to include real estate sales after that date, local values likely wouldn't have changed much, he added.

Jennifer Riley, the county's chief appraiser, said she sees every sale in the county and prices, in general, have not fallen.

"The sales are still there," she said. "The number of sales has fallen off, but the prices are still there. We have tried to go with the very lowest (valuations), and still be properly valued. The market has flattened, but it's still high."

Zimmerman warned the situation may seem unfair when people receive their notices of values, especially for businesses.

"You're all experiencing a downturn in your business, but still paying at this rate," he said.

For more information, call the Assessor's Office at 824-9102, or visit the office on the second floor of the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way.


lonelyone 6 years, 10 months ago

I just want to know why they could be going up again this year when they said they were doing all this stuff last year and it's something that is done about every 10 years...........did I fall asleep for that long?? or did I just misunderstand something from last year???


Neal Harkner 6 years, 10 months ago

I remembered asking Jennifer Riley how often property valuations were done in Colorado - it's every 2 years.


lostyermarbles 6 years, 10 months ago

Why don't they do a better job and get their people out there and get the "skippers" that ditch the permits and taxes it is not fair to rest of us. some have been reported and nothing done. who is the boss of the planning people? I would like to report them?


als362 6 years, 10 months ago

I need someone to explain to me how property values could be going up, when everyone that is selling their house has been forced to reduce the price, and many are still not selling, even with a reduced price.
This explaination should be good for a few laughs.


Neal Harkner 6 years, 10 months ago

als362 - If Colorado's not a non-disclosure state, the price of every property transaction is available at the assessor's office for public review.


lostyermarbles 6 years, 9 months ago

Well it seem's they make up the rules as they go depending on who need's what. But still not doing a good job with what they are supposed to be doing anyway. So if your crooked enough or know someone, or are 'somebody' you get by with it you don't get it, your neighbor will pay it for you. Just say it's shop or ag or lawnmower shed. Even tho it's a business, house etc. And the guy's will turn their heads if they like ya.


lonelyone 6 years, 9 months ago

harnker, are you sure? I thought it was every 10 years?? I know, I do alot of my own thinking and it's often wrong!!!!


lonelyone 6 years, 9 months ago

opps, sorry I spell your "handle" wrong. Harkner is what I should have spelled...........see I was doing my own thinking again!


Neal Harkner 6 years, 9 months ago

That's ok. It happens. I posed the question to Jennifer Riley here in the forums a while back and she said the state requires them to revalue the properties every 2 years.


oldsage 6 years, 9 months ago

The d_mb_$$_$ who supported and voted for those mill increases for a new hospital when it is now admitted that the old building is "Not that Bad" and replacing a school because it needed roof repair and a new heater with a new building are the ones responsible for your tax increases. Remember who they are when you think of purchasing something from them in the future! I do and make a point to buy elsewhere. I told you so! I told you so! ........Gee, I hope I did not violate a policy by letting those few who did this to all of us what I really think of them. Hey editorial board, do you think all bond elections should be held in presidential election years only, so more people could decide on them? Hummmmmmm.......


Neal Harkner 6 years, 9 months ago

"Hey editorial board, do you think all bond elections should be held in presidential election years only, so more people could decide on them? Hummmmmmm::."

Let me preface this by saying I have no dog in the hunt here, but that statement rankles me a bit. Every election should be important, whether or not it includes the presidential race. It is your constitutionally given right to vote. Use it at EVERY election!


lonelyone 6 years, 9 months ago

You are so right harkner, I was amazed at the small number of voters that decided the winners of our last election for the city. No matter what it's for or the time of year, people need to get out and vote.


Craig_gal 6 years, 9 months ago

I have a good friend here from another country (legally, by the way) she states that in other countries around the world---Election day is HUGE, its like a national holiday, there are no business's opened and family and friends all go and vote together, the children watch and are very enthralled with the process. The families then all go to one house and have dinner and talk about the voting. She says its very emotional and touching on voting days.
Makes me think how proud they all must be.


cmedpdirector 6 years, 9 months ago

Please plan to attend this informative seminar to better understand this topic.

Your business property tax valuation is going up! Find out what you CAN and CAN'T do about it and why!

Date: Tuesday, May 12th Time: 12:00n-1:15p Location: Moffat County Courthouse Building, 2nd Floor Conference Room Details: Complementary lunch will be served. RSVP: Reservations and welcomed and greatly appreciated (to ensure enough food for all attendees). Please RSVP to: CMEDP @ 970-826-2039 or If you have not RSVP'd and can make it at the last minute, please DO join us!

Learn: • Why business taxes are significantly higher than residential taxes • The protest process if you disagree with your valuation (what you CAN do) • How your property value is determined • Understand the property tax timeline and important deadlines
there is an important deadline coming up at the end of May!


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