Time to talk about Tax Asses!
Whoops, that got cut off. I meant, "Tax Assessments!"
But you're still reading, so please disregard the shameless attempt to hold your attention and proceed to our succinct explanation of that heartfelt Notice of Valuation you should have recently received in the mail from the Larimer County Assessor's Office. Time is of the essence as all protests must be submitted by June 1, 2017.
We would all like our property to be valued as high as possible when we go to refinance or to sell, but a higher assessed value means higher property taxes. A bit of a double-edged sword.
Assessed value, though pulled from market data, is not the same as market value. A mass appraisal model is used which pulls from both sold and unsold properties.
Protesting Your Property's Valuation
Depending on the particulars of your situation, you may have a case for protesting your assessed property value. For example, one of our clients recently completed construction on their home, at which point the property value was assessed by the county. A little more than a year later, the assessment is coming in 35% higher, incongruous with market data. They could have a good case.
The impact of an increased assessment can be significant. For example
$250,000 (Assessed value) X 7.96% (Assessment Rate) X 100 mills / 1,000 (Mill Levy) = $1,990 Tax $295,000 (Assessed value) X 7.96% (Assessment Rate) X 100 mills / 1,000 (Mill Levy) = $2,348 Tax
(FYI, from the County Assessor: "While not yet final, the preliminary 2017 assessment rate on residential properties is projected to drop from 7.96% to about 7.2%" Even given the projected decreased assessment rate, the overall impact will still be quite substantial due to a rapidly appreciation real estate market in Larimer County. Read more here and here if you can't get enough of this stuff.)
1. Don't throw away your Notice of Valuation and then fruitlessly dig through garbage until hours later you find it tucked into an obscure book on your shelf (doh!). This postcard alone holds the 2017 Access Key allowing you to protest the valuation online, rather than via mail or in-person at the county courthouse.
2. (option A) If you feel confident in tackling the protest solo, login at larimerassessor.org/protest/ and select comparable sales supporting the adjusted valuation you are seeking. At the end of the form, there's a box where you can add in your comments and the reasoning behind your protest.
Subject Line: Notice of Valuation Protest
Body: Prior Value, Current Value, and the case for protesting your valuation.
We will look at your situation and property and advise you on how best to proceed to get the valuation you are seeking, if this is indeed possible.
Not all protests will be successful, but many property owners have valid arguments for an adjustment. It can't hurt to try. And again, all protests must be submitted by June 1, 2017. We would love to help, but that will become more difficult as the deadline approaches.