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Colorado assessed residential values skyrocket in resort communities, data shows

Metro area homes increased nearly 40% on average
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Posted at 9:36 PM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-08 10:10:01-04

DENVER — Colorado homeowners who had sticker shock when they saw the new assessed value of their homes are not alone.

A higher assessed value means more money paid out in property taxes, and while a significant increase was expected, the amount of increase in some areas surprised even the head of the Colorado Assessors Association.

“Those numbers, that increase has surprised me as well,” said Corbin Sakdol, executive director of the Colorado Assessors Association. “We were all concerned with this reveal. We knew the valuations were going up and it did.”

Denver7 Investigates crunched data compiled by the Colorado Assessors Association, which took information provided by assessors in all 64 counties in Colorado. That data shows that the state’s resort communities saw the largest increase in assessments by percentage. The more rural areas saw the least amount of increase.

The five counties with the greatest percentage of assessed value increase across Colorado are:

  • Pitkin County- 92%
  • Routt County- 83%
  • Archuleta County- 80%
  • Grand County- 67%
  • Ouray County- 67%

In these towns, Sakdol said sales skyrocketed last year. This year’s assessments are based on a home's value on June 30, 2022, before interest rates began to rise.
“When it comes to the valuation, it’s because of the low interest rates as well as well we’ve had a lot of people move in from out of state,” Sakdol said. “Colorado is a great place to live.”

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The five counties with the lowest average increase are:

  • Baca County- 15%
  • Jackson County- 16%
  • Washington County- 18%
  • Dolores County- 18.8%
  • La Plata County- 20%

“Most of those counties with the lowest increase are more of farming communities, small towns,” Sakdol said.
For the nine counties in the Denver metro area the average increase was 39.3%. Douglas County saw the highest increase while Denver and Boulder tied for the lowest.

Here are those nine counties:

  • Douglas County- 48%
  • Arapahoe County- 42%
  • Broomfield County- 41%
  • Larimer County- 40%
  • Weld County- 38%
  • Adams County- 38%
  • Jefferson County- 36.5%
  • Boulder County- 35%
  • Denver County- 35%

“I mean that is a substantial increase,” Sakdol said, adding that the assessors are just doing their job. “The assessors are audited by the state. So if they do not raise to the market then they could fail an audit within the state of Colorado.”
Sakdol noted that this increase stems from 2020 when voters repealed the Gallagher Amendment, which reduced property tax bills for Colorado homeowners.

“So when you talk about where the buck stops, it really stops with the voters of Colorado, who removed this protection,” he said.

People have until the close of business Thursday to contact their assessor to appeal. Appeals can be done in person or through the mail, but letters must be postmarked on or before June 8.

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