Colorado homestead exemption 2018

Colorado homestead exemption 2018 DEFAULT

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why do we have property assessments?

The Constitution and state laws of Colorado have established real and business personal property assessment procedures and requirements. The values determined by the Assessment Division for real and personal property are used in the calculation of property tax bills. The revenue raised through these property taxes is used to help pay for all public services including police, schools, libraries, and fire protection.

How is my property assessed?

For residential properties, Division appraisers study the sales of homes similar to yours which sold within a specific 24-month period. For commercial and industrial properties, the cost, market and income approaches are considered and for business personal property, values are based on the asset information submitted directly by business owners.

When is my property assessed?

Under Colorado law, all real property (land, buildings, improvements, etc) must be re-appraised every two years. This occurs in each odd-numbered year (2017, 2019, etc). The Assessment Division studies the prices of properties which sold during the 24-month period ending on June 30 of the year prior to the reappraisal. For example, 2019 values are based on properties which sold between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018. New values are set each year for personal property owned by businesses based on the information annually submitted by the taxpayers on personal property declarations.

How are my property taxes calculated?

The Assessment Division does not set property taxes or collect payments. However, we can provide the following general information about how your most recent property tax bill (2019 taxes payable in 2020) was calculated and how to estimate taxes.

To calculate taxes, Actual Value is adjusted by the appropriate Assessment Rate to determine its Assessed Value. Commercial properties are multiplied by 29% (0.2900) and residential properties, including apartments, by 7.15% (0.0715).

The Assessed Value (less any exempted amount) is next multiplied by the applicable Tax Rate. In Colorado, tax rates are expressed as a decimal fraction of a dollar for every one dollar of Assessed Value. Known as millage or mills, one mill is 1/1,000th of a dollar or $0.001 (1/10th of a penny). Millage greater than one mill is usually written as a whole number followed by three digits to the right of a decimal point.

In 2019, Denver's combined general millage or Mill Rate including Denver Public Schools and Urban Drainage District is 72.116 mills or a tax rate of 0.072116 for every $1 of assessed value.

In 2019, the typical single family Denver home was valued at about $430,000. As a result, the property tax calculation for a typical residential owner was:

Actual Value x Assessment Rate x Mill Rate (Tax Rate) = Taxes

Typical Denver Residence

$430,000 x 0.0715 x 0.072116 = $2,217.21

As shown above, the tax calculation has three parts. The Actual Value comes from the Assessor and is shown on the NOV mentioned above. Assessment Rates are set annually by the State Legislature. Tax Rates are set in December each year by taxing authorities like the City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools and others listed on the tax bill. For more information regarding how tax rates are determined, contact the taxing authorities directly.

Why did my property value go up when I haven't made any new improvements to my home?

In order to determine new values for residential property (including single-family, multi-family and apartment properties) all Colorado assessors are required by law to use only the market approach to value. For 2019 property values, the sales prices of homes similar to yours which sold between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018, were studied.  If the sales prices of those homes went up, then the assessed value of your home likely showed an increase.

If my property value increased, will my property taxes go up?

The Assessor does not set property taxes or mill rates. Property taxes are determined by multiplying a property's assessed value by the millage or mill rate. Mill rates are set in December of each year by the various taxing authorities (City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools, and any special districts).

State laws (TABOR for example) as well as other voter-approved measures impact the mill rate that is eventually adopted by each taxing authority. It is not possible to determine whether property taxes will increase or decrease until the various mill rates are determined in December of each year.

What is the difference between "actual" value and "assessed" value?

The Assessor determines the "actual" (market) value for all real and personal property. Actual value is then reduced by a percentage to derive the "assessed" value. For all Colorado commercial and business personal property, the assessment percentage is 29%. For example, if a commercial or business personal property owner receives a notice from the Assessor stating that the actual value of his/her property is $100,000, its assessed value would be $29,000 (100,000 x 0.29). For all residential property a new assessment percentage is determined each year by the state legislature. The current percentage for residential property is 7.15%. Thus, a house with an actual value of $100,000 would have an assessed value of $7,150 (100,000 x 0.0715). Your property's actual value multiplied by its assessment percentage yields its assessed value. Assessed value times mill rate, produces your annual property tax bill.

How do I obtain public information and records on properties?

Information Management Team
Information Management (I.M.) Reps are available to assist the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Information provided includes property ownership (owner name, mailing address, legal description, etc.) for real estate, as well as such items as the property characteristics for homes, including the style, year built, number of bedrooms and baths, square foot of living area, lot size and zoning. The  historical "chain of title" (names of previous owners) pre-dating website data (prior to 1987) is available from the Denver Public Library. Current maps of the neighborhood or the full subdivision are also available from the website or from the Division's GIS Mapping Team. Additional assistance in these matters is available from the website, the 311 Call Center at 720-913-1311 or in person at the front counter on the fourth floor of the Webb Building.

Exemptions

Is a non-profit organization exempt from property taxes?

Under Colorado law, organizations which are charitable, educational, or religious in nature can be fully or partially exempt from property taxes. Simply having a non-profit status under federal IRS rules does not automatically carry an exemption from local property taxes. To apply for an exemption, call the State Division of Property Taxation at 303-864-7780 and request an exemption form. More information about exemptions can be found on the State of Colorado website.

Protesting Property Values

How can I protest my property value?

You have the legal right to protest your property value if you believe it is incorrect. When you receive a Notice of Valuation, there will be instructions along with it explaining how you may submit a protest either in writing, in person, or over the Internet. The deadline to file for the current year by any method is June 1 annually (or by the next business day if June 1 falls on a holiday or weekend). When protesting, be sure to explain why you think your value is incorrect; please submit any information (such as sales of homes similar to yours or information concerning condition problems with your home,etc), which will assist the Assessor in making a review of your value. Include your parcel/schedule number (which is shown on your Notice of Valuation) and a daytime phone number.

What if I disagree with the Board's decision regarding my protest?

If you disagree with the Board's decision regarding your protest you may appeal to the State Board of Assessment Appeals, to District Court, or to binding arbitration (the choice is yours). Instructions on how to do so are included in the Board's determination regarding your protest.

Can I protest a prior year's value?

You can protest up to two prior year values (for example, anytime during 2019 you could appeal your 2018 and 2017 values), if you did not already protest those values during the year(s) in question. This can be done by submitting a Board of County Commissioners' Petition for Abatement or Refund of Taxes (available in the "Forms" section).

General Assessment Questions

The Constitution and state laws of Colorado have established real and business personal property assessment procedures and requirements. The values determined by the Assessment Division for real and personal property are used in the calculation of property tax bills. The revenue raised through these property taxes is used to help pay for all public services including police, schools, libraries, and fire protection.

For residential properties, Division appraisers study the sales of homes similar to yours which sold within a specific 24-month period. For commercial and industrial properties, the cost, market and income approaches are considered and for business personal property, values are based on the asset information submitted directly by business owners.

Under Colorado law, all real property (land, buildings, improvements, etc) must be re-appraised every two years. This occurs in each odd-numbered year (2017, 2019, etc). The Assessment Division studies the prices of properties which sold during the 24-month period ending on June 30 of the year prior to the reappraisal. For example, 2019 values are based on properties which sold between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018. New values are set each year for personal property owned by businesses based on the information annually submitted by the taxpayers on personal property declarations.

The Assessment Division does not set property taxes or collect payments. However, we can provide the following general information about how your most recent property tax bill (2019 taxes payable in 2020) was calculated and how to estimate taxes.

To calculate taxes, Actual Value is adjusted by the appropriate Assessment Rate to determine its Assessed Value. Commercial properties are multiplied by 29% (0.2900) and residential properties, including apartments, by 7.15% (0.0715).

The Assessed Value (less any exempted amount) is next multiplied by the applicable Tax Rate. In Colorado, tax rates are expressed as a decimal fraction of a dollar for every one dollar of Assessed Value. Known as millage or mills, one mill is 1/1,000th of a dollar or $0.001 (1/10th of a penny). Millage greater than one mill is usually written as a whole number followed by three digits to the right of a decimal point.

In 2019, Denver's combined general millage or Mill Rate including Denver Public Schools and Urban Drainage District is 72.116 mills or a tax rate of 0.072116 for every $1 of assessed value.

In 2019, the typical single family Denver home was valued at about $430,000. As a result, the property tax calculation for a typical residential owner was:

Actual Value x Assessment Rate x Mill Rate (Tax Rate) = Taxes

Typical Denver Residence

$430,000 x 0.0715 x 0.072116 = $2,217.21

As shown above, the tax calculation has three parts. The Actual Value comes from the Assessor and is shown on the NOV mentioned above. Assessment Rates are set annually by the State Legislature. Tax Rates are set in December each year by taxing authorities like the City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools and others listed on the tax bill. For more information regarding how tax rates are determined, contact the taxing authorities directly.

In order to determine new values for residential property (including single-family, multi-family and apartment properties) all Colorado assessors are required by law to use only the market approach to value. For 2019 property values, the sales prices of homes similar to yours which sold between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018, were studied.  If the sales prices of those homes went up, then the assessed value of your home likely showed an increase.

The Assessor does not set property taxes or mill rates. Property taxes are determined by multiplying a property's assessed value by the millage or mill rate. Mill rates are set in December of each year by the various taxing authorities (City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools, and any special districts).

State laws (TABOR for example) as well as other voter-approved measures impact the mill rate that is eventually adopted by each taxing authority. It is not possible to determine whether property taxes will increase or decrease until the various mill rates are determined in December of each year.

The Assessor determines the "actual" (market) value for all real and personal property. Actual value is then reduced by a percentage to derive the "assessed" value. For all Colorado commercial and business personal property, the assessment percentage is 29%. For example, if a commercial or business personal property owner receives a notice from the Assessor stating that the actual value of his/her property is $100,000, its assessed value would be $29,000 (100,000 x 0.29). For all residential property a new assessment percentage is determined each year by the state legislature. The current percentage for residential property is 7.15%. Thus, a house with an actual value of $100,000 would have an assessed value of $7,150 (100,000 x 0.0715). Your property's actual value multiplied by its assessment percentage yields its assessed value. Assessed value times mill rate, produces your annual property tax bill.

Information Management Team
Information Management (I.M.) Reps are available to assist the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Information provided includes property ownership (owner name, mailing address, legal description, etc.) for real estate, as well as such items as the property characteristics for homes, including the style, year built, number of bedrooms and baths, square foot of living area, lot size and zoning. The  historical "chain of title" (names of previous owners) pre-dating website data (prior to 1987) is available from the Denver Public Library. Current maps of the neighborhood or the full subdivision are also available from the website or from the Division's GIS Mapping Team. Additional assistance in these matters is available from the website, the 311 Call Center at 720-913-1311 or in person at the front counter on the fourth floor of the Webb Building.

Exemptions

Is a non-profit organization exempt from property taxes?

Under Colorado law, organizations which are charitable, educational, or religious in nature can be fully or partially exempt from property taxes. Simply having a non-profit status under federal IRS rules does not automatically carry an exemption from local property taxes. To apply for an exemption, call the State Division of Property Taxation at 303-864-7780 and request an exemption form. More information about exemptions can be found on the State of Colorado website.

Protesting Property Values

You have the legal right to protest your property value if you believe it is incorrect. When you receive a Notice of Valuation, there will be instructions along with it explaining how you may submit a protest either in writing, in person, or over the Internet. The deadline to file for the current year by any method is June 1 annually (or by the next business day if June 1 falls on a holiday or weekend). When protesting, be sure to explain why you think your value is incorrect; please submit any information (such as sales of homes similar to yours or information concerning condition problems with your home,etc), which will assist the Assessor in making a review of your value. Include your parcel/schedule number (which is shown on your Notice of Valuation) and a daytime phone number.

If you disagree with the Board's decision regarding your protest you may appeal to the State Board of Assessment Appeals, to District Court, or to binding arbitration (the choice is yours). Instructions on how to do so are included in the Board's determination regarding your protest.

You can protest up to two prior year values (for example, anytime during 2020 you could appeal your 2019 and 2018 values), if you did not already protest those values during the year(s) in question. This can be done by submitting a Board of County Commissioners' Petition for Abatement or Refund of Taxes (available in the "Forms" section).

 
Sours: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-department-of-finance/our-divisions/assessor/faqs.html

Senior Homestead Property Tax Exemption

The Colorado Constitution establishes a property tax exemption for qualifying senior citizens, surviving spouses of senior citizens who previously qualified, and for Disabled Veterans.
If you wish to apply for the exemption, and will qualify as of January 1, 2021, and wish to receive a form to fill out, you may have your name added to our mailing list by calling our office at 303-441-3530, or emailing [email protected]

Deadline

The deadline for 2021 applications has passed. The Assessor’s Office can no longer accept applications for tax year 2021. To be added to our mailing list for 2022 applications please call our office or email [email protected] Please provide your property address or account number.

Effect on Taxes

    • The exemption goes into effect for tax year 2021.
    • The discount will first appear on the tax bill sent in January 2022.
    • The exemption remains in effect until a disqualifying event occurs*, such as:
      • Sale of property
      • Property is moved into a trust, LLC or other legal entity*, or
      • Surviving Spouse*, or
      • Home destroyed by a natural disaster*

* A Long Form application must be submitted in order to continue the exemption.

Eligibility

To qualify to apply for the 2021 tax year (payable in 2022), seniors:

  • Were born on or before January 1, 1956, and
  • Lived in the home continuously starting before January 1, 2011, and
  • Owned the home continuously starting before January 1, 2011.

Exemption Amount

For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted, for a maximum exemption amount of $100,000 in actual value. The State of Colorado pays the property taxes on the exempted value.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

Sours: https://www.bouldercounty.org/property-and-land/assessor/senior-exemption/
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This senior property tax exemption has saved Colorado’s older homeowners millions. But it also has an equity problem.

Dian Feral has lived in the frame house on a corner lot in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood for more than 30 years since she bought it for $87,000 back when she worked the graveyard shift at the Keebler cookie and cracker plant.

It was never what she’d call a good house, situated in what she describes as a “poverty-stricken area” and beset with frequent repairs. But it has nonetheless provided her an affordable home even after the plant closed in 2001 and she fell back on her savings and a company pension that allowed her to pay off the mortgage. 

For the last few years, 69-year-old Feral has squeezed another benefit from the home she shares with three cats and two ferrets. Because of her age and the fact that she has lived in her house for more than 10 years, Feral qualifies for the property tax break called the senior homestead exemption. It saved her $530 off her last tax bill of $1,402.

“It makes a difference,” she says. “That’s a substantial amount of money. It’s maybe one vet bill. It’s a home repair. It’s a lot of things. It’s meaningful.”

In a time of sticker shock from property valuations and rising concern over inequity in the housing market, the two-decades-old exemption stands as both a means of financial relief for many homeowners but also a tool that — in its present form — has raised questions of fairness.

A 2019 study by the Colorado Fiscal Institute found that the exemption disproportionately benefits white homeowners. And overall, roughly half of all older Coloradans don’t qualify for an exemption either because they rent instead of own or, if they do own a home, haven’t lived in it for 10 years. Those who do qualify for the exemption are less likely to be experiencing poverty than all older Coloradans.

Although lawmakers have pushed forward with a measure to provide broad property tax relief in the current session, they have for years flirted with strategies to make the senior exemption a more effective tool — for renters as well as homeowners, for more Black and Latinx homeowners and for more people experiencing poverty.

“People know it’s not an equitable program, and at times the whole program was on the chopping block because the benefits are not distributed equitably,” says state Rep. Chris Kennedy, a Lakewood Democrat. He adds that while bills addressing the senior exemption were introduced twice previously, “neither had kinks worked out.”

A hedge against rising taxes

Voters installed the senior homestead exemption into the state constitution via referendum in 2000 as a means of helping older homeowners remain in their homes as rising property taxes threatened to outrun their often-fixed incomes. The exemption allows those who are at least 65 on Jan. 1 of the year they apply, and who have lived in their homes for at least 10 years, to subtract up to $100,000 of their home’s value before calculating property taxes. (Disabled veterans also can qualify for the exemption.)

Technically, the tax break allows homeowners to deduct 50% of the first $200,000 of appraised value. In Colorado, where the median home price exceeds $500,000, that break easily fits most long-term homeowners in the state’s hottest areas, and can reduce their tax bill by hundreds of dollars. It can also figure into qualifying homeowners’ decision on whether to stay or sell, since the exemption isn’t portable.

Some years ago, an audit of the program raised concerns about “checks and balances” — basically, ensuring that those who claimed the benefit actually qualified, says JoAnn Groff, the state property tax administrator. The result was that the Division of Property Taxation’s role expanded to run applications against databases of deaths and income tax returns to confirm that the properties were, in fact, owner occupied as a primary residence — and that the claimant was still alive.

“The benefit doesn’t get to follow you into the next world,” Groff says. “But when someone passes, the county assessor doesn’t necessarily get it, so this is a way that we can be sure that the exemption ends when someone is no longer with us … It’s a pretty thorough review, short of going out to someone’s house and ringing their doorbell and making sure that they’re living there.”

Since its inception, lawmakers have mulled a number of tweaks to either expand or contract the exemption, which requires the state to backfill lost revenue to the counties that contain the qualifying homes. As Colorado’s populace ages and more people qualify for the exemption, it places a growing burden on the state budget.

In 2002, the state granted 123,380 exemptions and paid counties about $62 million in lost tax revenue. The average tax savings totaled $503.

For the 2020 tax year, Coloradans claimed nearly 270,000 exemptions totaling nearly $158 million in county taxes that had to be backfilled by the state. On average, a qualifying applicant saved $585.

It may seem a drop in the bucket in a $30 billion-plus budget, but it’s not exactly insignificant. 

“It’s big enough that it’s consistently considered when cuts are required,” Kennedy says of the exemption. “We talked about cuts when COVID hit, but fortunately found other things to cut. It’s consistently among the big ticket items that need reform. By making it more equitable, we can reform the longevity of the program.”

County notices of property valuation that went out in January contain an alert that instructs homeowners that they may be eligible for the exemption. A simple application must be completed and filed no later than July 15. Homeowners can contact their county assessor for more information.

Because the exemption is enshrined in the state constitution, lawmakers are limited in what they can do to tweak it. But the legislature does have the authority to adjust the size of the exemption, and can even suspend it during economic dry spells — as it did after the 9/11 attacks in the early 2000s and from 2009 to 2012, when the state budget reeled from the impact of the Great Recession.

AARP keeping tabs

The homestead exemption looms large for AARP Colorado’s roughly 670,000 members — the vast majority of whom are homeowners, including many who have owned their homes for at least 10 years, says state director Bob Murphy. But he also recognizes that while the tax savings can be a nice bonus for well-off Coloradans, the exemption doesn’t extend to a lot of folks for whom even a few hundred dollars could be critical. 

“By any objective analysis (the exemption) is not completely fair,” Murphy says. “Generally 40% of folks who live in Colorado own their homes and 60% rent. So there’s a sort of inherent inequity between owners and renters.

“And it’s not means-tested. I don’t know how many people that would impact, but that’s one of the questions that legislators have grappled with for several years as they look to make changes.”

Murphy says that leads to a third point: A legislative change in the exemption has some urgency because in a state where the population’s older demographic continues to grow, impact on the state budget increases every year.

By any objective analysis (the exemption) is not completely fair.

Bob Murphy, AARP Colorado director

He notes that the Gallagher Amendment, had it not been repealed by voters, would have triggered an 18% decrease in the residential assessment rate — the second largest property tax cut in modern Colorado history. So in addition to removing some longstanding residential property tax relief (another factor in the just-introduced bill) the repeal ends up making the homestead exemption that much more expensive for the state to backfill.

The many moving parts of the state’s financial mechanism make the homestead exemption a tricky thing to try to fix.

“Sometimes those efforts have unintended consequences,” Murphy says. “You could make it more equitable, but that in turn could result in blowing a bigger hole in the state budget….So it’s definitely important to our members, and we understand that we’ve never really had to advocate for or against it. But any objective analysis shows discussion of refining that is probably valid.”

Data points to inequities

The CFI study from 2019 notes that of more than 480,000 Colorado households with at least one older homeowner, only slightly more than half qualify for the exemption. And while 60% of older white households qualify, only 40% of older Black households and 21% of older Latinx households qualify. People of color account for more than a quarter of the over-65 population but only 13.6% of homestead exemption qualifiers. 

Chris Stiffler, CFI senior economist and author of “Inequities in Colorado’s Senior Property Tax Exemption,” notes that the exemption is, in one sense, insulated against well-off homeowners benefitting too much because it’s capped at a $100,000 deduction whether a home is valued at $400,000 or $1 million. But it’s difficult to fine tune it beyond that.

“The legislature can zero it out,” he says, “but it’s trickier to not give it to the super wealthy, and beef it up for lower-income people.”

Stiffler says the purpose of his research wasn’t to come up with any sort of recommendation, but to see what the data would tell him. His biggest takeaway from the research cross-referencing databases was how many Hispanic/Latinx intergenerational families don’t own their homes — which puts them at a disadvantage in terms of the homestead exemption.

He adds that about a dozen states have a “circuit breaker” that kicks in if property taxes exceed 20% of a homeowner’s income and pays the difference to provide relief to lower income seniors.

In Colorado, individual counties sometimes have programs that can help older residents mitigate property taxes, including by doing volunteer work. Homeowners 65 and older also may qualify to defer property taxes. The state treasurer pays the tax in the county where the homeowner resides and places a lien on the property that must be settled once the homeowner dies and the property is sold or the title transferred.

Kennedy says that he plans to propose a bill that would provide means testing for an exemption, but it would likely involve eliminating the current program by dropping the exemption to zero and starting from scratch on a different approach. 

This news first appeared in The Unaffiliated. Subscribe here to get the twice-weekly political newsletter from The Colorado Sun.

“It’s more complex than it sounds,” he says. “You have to restructure the entire program. We’ve wrestled with it over the years, and we want to make sure it’s equitable and accessible. And we want to make sure it is efficient for the state to administer.”

Key to any revamp, he says, would be finding a way to make it accessible to renters.

“Seniors who rent struggle as much as seniors who own,” Kennedy says. “In addition to property values, Colorado has a competitive rental environment. It’s very difficult to find affordable rental housing. I’m going to work on something over the interim, and come back with (a bill) in 2022. I’ve run a pretty robust stakeholder conversation around this, and I intend to do the same over the interim.”


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Sours: https://coloradosun.com/2021/06/04/homestead-property-tax-exemption/

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