2019Q1: Higher Property Tax Assessments Coming in May

Higher Property Tax Assessments Coming in May
Central Denver Apartment Market Report: Cover page of our 2019 Q1 newsletter

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Brace yourselves – – new property tax assessments will be mailed the first week of May.  Every two years the Denver County Assessor’s Office sends out their new valuation notices to property owners.  Once again, we expect assessments will be higher than two years ago for most apartment owners in Central Denver.

We are here to assist you if you feel your new assessment is unjustly inflated.  Please, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have concerns about the new valuation for your apartment building.  The deadline to file a protest of your assessed value with the Denver Assessor’s Office is Monday, June 3rd.  Don’t delay!

The Notice of Value forms mailed in early May will include the Assessor’s market value for your property, along with comparable information from three recent sales of similar properties that the Assessor used to determine a value for your building.

Those sales are from the “base period” which was from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018.  The sales prices are adjusted from the actual sales date to June 30, 2018 using a price inflator of 0.5% per month.  So, a sale that occurred in June 2017 will be adjusted by approximately 6% to determine a comparable value as of June 30, 2018.

The adjusted comparable values of those three sales may be further adjusted to allow for differences in size, location, and other characteristics between the comparable properties and your property.

If you do not agree with the new assessed value of your property, you can file a value protest using the form that was included in the envelop with your assessment.  (These forms can also be found on the Denver County Assessor’s website.)

Protesting the new value because simply you feel the increase is too much is rarely a winning argument.  It is better to make a case that the sales comps used by the Assessor’s Office were misinterpreted, or that a better group of sales comps should have been used.

The protest form will ask you to provide what you believe the accurate value should have been, and there is a place for you to list up to three other recent sales comps that you feel should have been used to determine the value of your property.  We have prepared a booklet of Central Denver apartment sales that can help you select the sales comps for your valuation protest.   We will be happy to meet with you and provide you a copy of our booklet.

All protest forms are reviewed by the Assessor’s Office, and if they agree with the alternative sales comps you provide, they will re-calculate the assessed value of your property.  By statue, anyone that files a written protest will receive a Notice of Determination by the end of August.  Property owners still unhappy with the revised value contained in the Notice of Determination can appeal to the County Board of Equalization by September 15th.

Appeals to the CBOE are usually handled in a meeting scheduled between the Assessor’s staff, the property owner, and a member of the Board.  In our experience, the largest change in value often occurs when a property owner schedules an appeal with the Board of Equalization.

BONUS:  8 tips directly from the Denver Assessor if you’re going to protest your valuation

  1. DON’T simply protest the amount of increase
  2. DO review the property characteristics listed on the form (size, unit counts, etc.)
  3. DON’T focus on today’s market value
  4. DO remember the Assessor’s date of value (6/30/18)
  5. DON’T protest the taxes (you technically don’t know what the tax rate will be)
  6. DO consider what the proper value should be
  7. DON’T simply say “the value is too high
  8. DO provide evidence: sales, photos, descriptions of issues negative to the property, estimates of cost to cure, rent rolls, etc.

by Greg Johnson 


Calibrate Real Estate
900 East Louisiana Avenue #203, Denver, CO 80210