Appeals court sides with Roaring Fork Club
December 9, 2013
The Roaring Fork Club maintains its property was worth about $7 million in 2011; the Pitkin County Assessor's Office figures it was $19 million.
Now the value will be determined by the state Board of Assessment Appeals, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
The appellate court's decision to remand the dispute back to the Board of Assessment Appeals — which previously had upheld the county's assessment — comes after the private fishing and golf club contested the $19 million value.
The Roaring Fork Club had argued that the county should not have factored in club memberships when it determined the Basalt club's value in 2011.
"We agree with the club," the Court of Appeals said, instructing the Board of Assessment Appeals to determine the 2011 value "without including the value of the sold memberships."
Both the county's assessor's office and board of equalization had argued that the membership values were properly factored into the assessed value because the memberships were part of the actual value of the club property. The state's Board of Assessment of Appeals also had agreed, but the appellate court's ruling last week said that memberships should not be weighed into the assessed value for a number of reasons. Among those reasons are that the memberships aren't life estates; the membership agreement is not a lease; the membership agreement doesn't give members any other taxable interest in the club's property; and the memberships are "revocable licenses."
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The appeals court did not take a position on what Roaring Fork Club's actual value is or should be.