BOULDER – This May Day, there’s one thing every property owner in Boulder County can depend on: receiving a new assessed property value.
“Because 2017 is an odd numbered year, State statute requires that every property in Boulder County be evaluated for ‘assessed’ value,” says Cynthia Braddock, Boulder County Assessor.
Notices of assessed value will go out countywide on May 1. The new assessed value is based on past real estate market sales of comparable properties from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016.
With 120,000 properties to assess, it’s a big task for Assessor Braddock and the 45 employees of the Boulder County Assessor’s Office. But since the staff is made up primarily of appraisers – including Certified Residential Appraisers and Certified General Appraisers – the group is up to the task.
“The valuation process includes the steps of discovery of properties, listing properties in the database; defining their characteristics, and categorizing properties into how they are used such as residential, commercial or land. The data is then put through a statistical modeling process called mass appraisal. The data from the sold properties is used to predict the values of the unsold properties,” says Braddock.
The assessment rate, which is assigned by the state legislature, is then applied to the property value and that determines the assessed value, explains Braddock. For residential properties, assessed value is currently 7.9 percent of their actual value. For commercial properties and land, assessed value is 29 percent of the value.
Property taxes are then calculated by multiplying the assessed value by the mill levy, according to Braddock. The goal of property value assessment is to equalize property values so property taxes are distributed fairly and equitably between property owners, according to the Boulder County Assessor’s website.
The property assessment process is the basis for generating property tax revenues that pay for schools, roads, fire protection, police protection, and other local services.
But Braddock wants you to know that the Assessor’s Office “does not set or collect taxes.”
It’s not unusual for property owners to have questions about their property’s assessed value. If that occurs, Braddock has issued an open invitation to come in person to visit, call or respond through the Boulder County Assessor’s website.
“We hope we are accurate on the assessed value, but if you have a concern about the assessed value of your home, then come in and talk to us,” she says.
“It’s important for the public to know there is a formula for determining assessed value and taxes. Sometimes property owners argue so hard for a couple of thousand in value, and if you apply the whole formula, a couple of thousand in value doesn’t really change your taxes that much,” says RE/MAX of Boulder Realtor Duane Duggan.
Appeals must be filed by the end of the first day in June. Property owners will be notified of the ruling the last day of August when the Assessor’s Office mails out their Notice of Determination. If property owners still don’t agree, they can file appeal with the County Board of Equalization. Instructions are provided on next steps on with the Notice of Determination.
“One of the things the Boulder assessor is dealing with is that Boulder is a preferable place to live. And people are willing to pay a lot for properties to live here,” says Braddock.
This article is based on a RE/MAX of Boulder podcast with Boulder County Assessor Cynthia Braddock. The goal of the conversation and article is to help build a bridge of communication and understanding between the Boulder County Assessor’s Office, Realtors® and the general public. Watch the full podcast interview with Duane Duggan and Cynthia Braddock on the RE/MAX of Boulder YouTube channel.