Property values could drop again in Pitkin County | AspenTimes.com

Property values could drop again in Pitkin County

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Pitkin County property values are still in decline.

That, at least, is what some individual property owners are likely to see when they receive a notice of valuation in the mail in May.

While the county Assessor’s Office has only begun to analyze the data – namely property sales that occurred over an 18-month to two-year period ending June 30 – the county is tentatively bracing for a 15 percent decline in property tax revenue in 2014. That revenue will be based on values assigned to property in 2013.

The projected decrease, however, is “totally a moving target,” Assessor Tom Isaac cautioned.

“We’re just starting to do the reappraisals, but they need to have something to plug into the budget. We don’t have a firm figure on that decrease,” he said.

Property is revalued every two years across Colorado. Overall, values in Pitkin County dropped about 25 percent with the revaluation in 2011, though the decrease varied significantly across the county, and some residential property owners saw a decline in value of as much as 40 percent.

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Similar variation will likely be reflected in the notices of valuation that are issued next year, Isaac said. Rebounding residential property values, for example, are more evident in the Aspen area than in midvalley portions of the county, he said.

In areas of Basalt and El Jebel located in Eagle County, homeowners could see another 20 to 50 percent drop in values, Assessor Mark Chapin predicted in July. The decrease would come on the heels of a 2011 revaluation that saw values plummet.

Preliminarily, Chapin projected a 13 percent decrease across Eagle County but said some pockets, including Basalt and El Jebel in the Roaring Fork Valley, would see greater declines based on sales in the period leading up to June 30.

Values assigned by county assessors lag behind what is actually happening in the market, as they’re essentially based on sales that occurred at least a year earlier if not more.

“What we’re seeing between June 30 and today is the values are increasing,” Isaac said.

janet@aspentimes.com