Guest commentary: New Eagle County property assessments come with help of unprecedented collaboration
As the Eagle County Assessor, I and my staff are required by Colorado Statutes to reappraise property every two years in the odd-numbered years. 2021 is a re-assessment year. The property valuations which our office sent out May 3 reflect the property value as of June 30, 2020, calculated on the basis of the period from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020. It is important to note that the boom in real estate sales across all resort areas in Colorado was just beginning in June 2020. As a result, property owners can expect to see an increase in valuations, but not nearly as much as sales prices have increased since July 1, 2020.
Recognizing that our county has very diverse real estate, from agricultural to resort properties and everything in between, research of local sales is critical to fully understanding our many sub-markets. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic stay at home public health orders our valuation practices had to shift quickly and dramatically to meet the valuation deadline of June 30, 2020. I am grateful to our professional and hard-working staff who pulled together during a world-wide crisis and made the systems adjustments necessary, under very difficult circumstances.
Throughout Colorado commercial sales activity was occurring with a typical volume of transactions until the Covid-19 crisis emerged. While some small decrease in the volume of residential transactions was observed after March 2020, commercial real estate transactions fundamentally stopped. In a proactive effort to determine the impacts of the pandemic on the commercial real estate market in Colorado, a group of 12 assessors offices, including Eagle County’s, came together to conduct a comprehensive study. This unprecedented collaboration included examining six commercial submarkets: Office, Retail, Warehouse, Apartments, Commercial Condominiums, and Lodging. The outcome was a consistent consideration of the pandemic on commercial property valuation for this reappraisal cycle across the metro and resort areas.
In general, lodging properties experienced the largest decrease in property value, while the warehouse sub-market increased, depending on age, size and location. Retail and office property values were mixed depending on use and the type of retail. The greatest negative adjustments were applied to full-service restaurants and bars, entertainment facilities, and other hospitality related property.
As with most things Covid-related, there were many effects to the assessment process, and to the results. I encourage concerned property owners to visit the Eagle County website at http://www.eaglecounty.us to research sales that occurred in their area during the statutory time frame. If you feel the value of your property is in error, an appeal can be filed by June 1, 2021. We offer online appeal applications and accept written filings either via mail, FedEx, UPS or drop off. You can also contact us by phone at 970 328 8640.
Mark Chapin is the Eagle County Assessor.
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