| AspenTimes.com

UPDATE: missing Eagle boy found safe

Colton Kirby, a 15-year-old boy who went missing from his home Sunday evening, was located safely at 3 p.m. Monday and has since been reunited with his family.

The Eagle Police Department worked with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office to find Kirby, according to a press release sent Monday afternoon.

Police had received a report Monday morning that Kirby left his home Sunday evening around 6 p.m. and never returned, according to an earlier press release.

He reportedly left his home on his skateboard Sunday and did not show up for work Monday morning.

Police thanked the public for support in the search.

Eagle County property value notices sent out

With the notices of value sent out property owners have the rest of this month to file appeals of those notices. Those appeals can be filed online, mailed or dropped at drop boxes in Avon, Edwards, Eagle and El Jebel.
Special to the Daily

Eagle County’s property value notices have been mailed out. Values went up, for the most part, but won’t reflect the run-up in prices the county’s seen since the summer of 2020.

In Colorado, county assessors’ offices every two years determine the value of all taxable property. That valuation is based on sales of comparable properties. According to state law, months of research into values is distilled to a “snapshot” of values as of June 30. Taxing districts from schools to towns to cemetery districts then use those values to determine their mill levies, which set the tax rate.

The values set on the snapshot date in 2020 will apply to taxes levied in 2021 and payable in 2022.

While the current value notices don’t account for the current inflation in the market, Eagle County Assessor Mark Chapin said that, on average, values in the measurement period increased by 0.5% to 1% per month.

But value increases depend in large part on location.

“We saw a range from no change to (significant),” Chapin said.

One of the bigger unknowns is new construction and property remodels. Some of those values could jump by as much as 60%, which isn’t common.

With the notices of value sent out, Chapin said property owners have the rest of this month to file appeals of those notices. Those appeals can be filed online, mailed or dropped at drop boxes in Avon, Edwards, Eagle and El Jebel.

Once the appeals are adjudicated by the Assessor’s Office, property owners can appeal in August to the Eagle County Board of Assessment Appeals.

Tax impacts still unclear

The exact impact of those value increases depends on how districts set their mill levies, or tax rates, near the end of this year. There are more than 80 districts in the county that collect property taxes, but no one pays taxes in all those districts. Those districts can range from school districts, into which virtually everyone pays, to towns and more specialized districts which use tax revenue for everything from local cemeteries to recreation to individual metropolitan districts.

Eagle County Schools takes the biggest share of valley residents’ property tax dollars, almost 39%. Eagle County’s general fund takes just less than 7% of the collections. Towns, on average, take just more than 5% of a property tax dollar.

Still, many will be paying a bit more in 2021 taxes.

Chapin used the example of a townhome in Gypsum valued at roughly $300,000 in the 2020 valuation. That home grew in value by just more than 12% between the 2018 and 2020 notices. If that home’s property tax mill levies remain constant, the owner of that home will pay about $150 more in property taxes in 2021 than in 2020.

Those increases will come because voters in a number of local taxing districts, including the school district, agreed to remove those districts from the revenue limits imposed by the 1992 Taxpayers Bill of Rights amendment to the Colorado Constitution. Voters in the state in 2020 also removed some of the restrictions imposed by the state’s Gallagher Amendment, passed in 1982 by state voters.

Changes in the law

Given those changes, longtime local Realtor Mike Budd said he expects future property tax rates and collections to be more proportional with value increases.

Budd, who lives in Singletree, said his home’s value has increased significantly since he bought it in 1997. But values have also ebbed and increased given the state of the valley’s economy.

Still, Budd said, people coming to the valley from its traditional feeder markets of Texas and Florida may not be disturbed by tax rates in Colorado.

While Texas and Florida don’t have state income taxes, they do have relatively high property tax rates. So do other feeder states including California, Illinois and New York.

“All of those are horrible tax states,” Budd said.

While tax bills are expected to increase somewhat this year, “The good news I’ve got two more years of reasonable taxes before (the next value increase) hits,” Budd said.

How it works

County assessors set values for property taxation purposes.

Those values are set every two years.

This year’s value notices reflect 2020 market conditions.

Those values will be applied to taxes for 2021 that are payable in 2022.

For more information, go to the Eagle County Assessor’s Office website.