Pitkin, Eagle County assessors hint at property value increases
Some Aspen-area homeowners will learn that their property values have returned to prerecession levels when Pitkin County mails out notices of revaluation on May 1.
Deputy Assessor Larry Fite said Tuesday that property has appreciated at different rates throughout the county since the last revaluation in spring 2015. In some cases, property values have dropped from two years ago.
“The changes in value are neighborhood-specific,” Fite said. “It’s going to run the gamut. I think the market is strong in the Aspen side of the valley.”
In the Basalt area, property values in Pitkin County have appreciated, but not at the same pace as they have in Aspen, according to Fite.
In the Eagle County part of the Roaring Fork Valley, residential property values are up between 20 and 24 percent, according to Eagle County Assessor Mark Chapin.
All 64 counties in Colorado are required to revalue property every two years. The Pitkin and Eagle County assessor staffs looked at sales over a two-year period ending June 30, 2016, to establish the new values. Property owners must be aware when they receive their notices that the values don’t take into account sales between July 1, 2016, and the present, Fite said.
The June 30 deadline was set to give the staffs time to figure all the new values.
Chapin said places such as El Jebel, Basalt, Gypsum and Eagle saw a larger increase in value than Eagle County overall, which has about a 14.5 percent median increase for residential property. Places that are dominated by primary home sales saw higher price increases than second-home markets such as Vail, he said.
In the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County, the highest appreciation was in condominiums while the lowest climb was in single-family homes, Chapin said.
Commercial property in the Eagle County portion of the Roaring Fork Valley increased in value by 12 percent to 15 percent, Chapin said.
The actual value of property is obviously important because it helps determine property taxes. But this year, there will be a complicating factor in tax bills that arrive toward the end of the year, according to Chapin and Fite.
Property owners receive an actual value, which is what their house was worth on the market during a specific time frame. That is used to determine an assessed value, which is used to figure property taxes.
The Gallagher Amendment to the Colorado Constitution prohibits cumulative residential property from contributing more than 45 percent of the state’s total property tax revenue. That means the percentage used to figure the assessed value of property is periodically adjusted.
It has to be adjusted this year because of the “extreme growth” in housing prices in the Front Range, Chapin said.
The percentage used to calculate the assessed value has been 7.96 percent for the past 13 years. Now, the state government is contemplating dropping the percentage used in the formula to 6.56 percent. A decision on the amount will be made Thursday, Chapin said.
As it stands now, a house with an actual value of $500,000 would have an assessed value of $39,800 under the old formula. With the proposed adjustment, the assessed value will be $32,800 under the new formula.
Chapin said he is visiting various governmental entities and special taxing districts to explain the complicated developments. The state-mandated adjustment of the assessed value formula will affect numerous taxing district. In many cases, it will result in lower revenues.
“There’s going to be some impact,” he said. “It’s not going to be significant in this part of the county.”