May 16, 2017

Did Colorado Raise Your Property Tax Value? Here's How to Challenge the Valuation

This article was updated with 2019 information on May 7, 2019.  

Every odd year, Colorado reassesses real property for a two-year period. This year, we are seeing huge increases in property tax values across the state and especially in the Denver Metro area, including Boulder County, Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, Larimer County and Douglas County. For Coloradans receiving their assessments, here are a few answers to commonly asked questions:

Who determines what the value of my property is for tax purposes, and how are taxes determined?

Colorado has a classification system for commercial and residential properties. Commercial property is assessed at 29 percent of its actual market value. Residential property is assessed at 7.2 percent of its actual market value. Colorado uses comparable sales to set the actual value for both commercial and residential properties. An income or cost approach to valuation can also be used for commercial properties.

Can I challenge the assessor’s valuation?

Yes. A full timeline for that process with information about how your real property taxes are calculated can be found here. The first requirement is to file a protest of the assessment with the county assessor. In 2019, that protest must be submitted by June 3, 2019, after which the following process takes place:

Assessor Determination

The assessor must make a decision on the valuation and mail a notice of determination (NOD) to you before the last regular working day in June (or August 15 if your county has elected to use the extended review process).

Appealing the Assessor’s Decision

If you disagree with the assessor’s determination, you can file a written appeal with the County Board of Equalization (CBOE) on or before July 15 (or September 15 for counties electing the extended review process). The CBOE will then schedule and complete their hearings of all protests on or before August 5 (or November 1 if your county has elected to use the extended review process). The CBOE must notify you in writing of their decision once it is made.

If you are satisfied with the CBOE decision, the process ends there.

Appealing the CBOE Decision

If you disagree with the CBOE, there are three options:

  1. Go to binding arbitration
  2. Appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA)
  3. Go to District Court

Regardless of which option you choose, you must appeal within 30 days of the CBOE decision.

If you choose arbitration after the CBOE decision, the decision reached at arbitration is final and not subject to review.

If you are satisfied with the decision rendered by either the BAA or the District Court, the process ends there. If, however, the decision rendered by either the BAA or District Court is unsatisfactory, you may then appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals. The only appeal beyond that is to the Colorado Supreme Court.

How do I initiate the process to challenge an assessor’s valuation?

As mentioned above, the first step for all challenges is the initial protest to the county assessor, which must be submitted by June 3, 2019. Faegre Baker Daniels can help with that protest. And if it becomes necessary to appeal an adverse decision beyond the county assessor, we have a legal team that can handle your appeal.

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