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Metro Denver assessors fear high property taxes after 'historic' bump in home values

Colorado lawmakers anticipate a bill late in the session trying to ease the tax burden
Metro Denver assessors call increase in property values historic, but fear high property taxes
Posted at 6:57 PM, Apr 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 23:16:52-04

DENVER — A group of nine county assessors from the Denver metro area announced property values have increased at an "unprecedented" rate, meaning homeowners could pay significantly more in taxes next year.

In Colorado, property is revalued every two years in odd-numbered years, according to the announcement from the assessors. For the time period ending on June 30, 2022, residential properties in the Denver metro area increased between 35% and 45%.

Denver7 wanted to find the impact of this for a typical homeowner using data from Douglas County. The median sale price of a home in the county in June 2020 was $545,000, with owners owing about $5,126 in taxes. That same house was worth approximately $780,000 in June 2022, with a tax of $7,141. This means this hypothetical owner will owe $2,015 more in taxes next year, or about $168 per month on their mortgage.

“We've never seen, I think we would all agree, something this historic or unprecedented," said the Denver County Assessor, Keith Erffmeyer. “I wouldn't say it's a bad news story, but I don't know if everybody would be totally thrilled about their property value going up either.”

Property taxes are based on a home's value, meaning an increase in value equals an increase in taxes. At the announcement from the assessors, it was said that since the Gallagher Amendment was repealed in 2020, there has been a barrage of property tax legislation slowly making tax policy more complicated.


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At the meeting, the assessors said it is critical that lawmakers act to ease the property tax burden. State Representative Lisa Frizell said she is aware of a bill she expects to come from the governor's office to address the issue, but she is not sure what it is just yet.

Jump in property value in Denver area could lead to crisis

“It's one of the big mysteries of the session, actually," said Frizell. “Every person, whether you rent or own a home, should be concerned because if you rent those property tax increases are going to be passed along to you.”

With less than two weeks left in the state legislature, Frizell said it could be difficult to pass the legislation.

"We're expecting it next week, and that's getting really late," said Frizell. “What we can do in this building is we can adjust those assessment rates down, thereby lowering the property tax. That's what the legislature has done the last two years, they've ratcheted the residential rate down.”

There are affordability programs in Colorado aimed at helping with property taxes, along with programs that address needs like utilities, rent, and food.

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