This article is intended to help you understand the “Property Valuation” process in Douglas County, Colorado with some tips on how appeal your valuation.
- Douglas County Assessor is required to provide a revised valuation to property owners by May 1, 2023. They use a computer generated model. It is not done manually.
- To find your notice of valuation, search your property on the DougCo website, search your address, scroll to the bottom, click “Documents”, click “Notices of Value”, click “…Nov_2023”
- If a homeowner disagrees with the valuation and has grounds for an appeal, the property owner has until June 8, 2023 to file an appeal.
- If a property owner does not file an appeal on or before June 8, 2023, their right to appeal is waived.
- The Assessor’s office has until August 15, 2023 to respond to the appeal.
- If the property owner does not agree with the decision of the appeal, the property owner has the right to file a second appeal with the County Board of Equalization on or before September, 15, 2023. Their decision is due before November 1, 2023. Written notifications are mailed within 5 days of the hearing officers’ decisions.
Property Valuation Dispute Tips:
1.Have a receipt that you filed your appeal. 3 preferred methods:
- File your appeal online. Click this link to The Assessor’s Online Appeal System.
- Mail your appeal form to: The Douglas County Assessor, 301 Wilcox St. Suite 250, Castle Rock, CO 80104.
- You can deliver it in person at the Assessor’s office.
2. You are not required to submit any data, documents, or comparable sales (Comps) with your dispute. Any appeal will trigger a manual review with an Assessor to review your case. If you do not have Comps, but would like an Assessor to review you case manually for correctness, file an appeal by June 8.
3. Comps – You can research you own Comps on the DougCo Website or request assistance from a local Real Estate Agent.
4. It is best to submit Comps, supporting data, and documents for the Assessor to review during the initial step of the process to help with their decision.
5. Accuracy of Public Records – Review your property on the County website for accuracy. Is the total and square feet listed correctly? Is it zoned properly? These are all reasonable items to have corrected and reviewed for an appeal. Here is the link to: Douglas County Public Records.
6. Zoning – Review your property to ensure it is zoned correctly in its’ entirety. i.e., Can your residential land be re-zoned to another assignment like Vacant Land, Agricultural, or Forest Agricultural? A property can have more than one zoning assignments depending on the use. You want to make sure you have the correct assignments to your property. Example-A property zoned “Agricultural” can have a building zoned “Residential”.
7. Understand the Comps close date and the valuation process. The property close date for the selection of Comps is 1/1/2021 through 6/30/2022. The Assessor will adjust the sale price of the Comps upwards with an estimated inflation rate of 2.0% per month to an assigned valuation on 6/30/2022 from the actual close date of the property. This is a key valuation factor. Choose Comps that sole/closed the closest to 6/30/2022 as possible, not just the lowest sale price Comp that you find.
Example of two comparable properties: Property A closed 6/30/2021 for $500,000. Property B closed 5/31/2022 for $575,000. For valuation purposes, the Assessor would assign a value of Property A to $620,000 ($500,000 x 1.24%, 2% per month for 12 months), and Property B to $586,500 ($575,000 x 1.02%, 2% per month for 1 month) to calculate both properties value as of 6/30/2022. Clearly Property B is in your favor for your appeal. You should submit Property B, not Property A, and look for two other properties similar to Property B.
8. Choose Comps that truly match your property, not simply based on size. Consider location, condition, age of property, amenities, and other factors. Remember when you were looking to buy. You looked at all of the aspects collectively. For example, how updated were the properties? Does the property back to a main road versus open space with views? How much more were you willing to pay for a home with 3 car garage, walk out finished basement on a larger lot that backs to open space versus the same size house with a 2 car garage, unfinished basement, small lot, and little back yard privacy? Is there a road to access your land or is it difficult to access your property? The land with a road is more valuable, even if they are the same size near each other. Provide comps that are similar to your property, so you can make a reasonable argument for adjustments. i.e., If all of the Comps are newer or updated, and your house has not been updated, that is a good factor to address with the Assessor for valuation.
9. If you want to re-appeal the first step decision (8/15/2023 deadline), you may use different Comps for step 2. You are not “stuck” with the ones you provided in step 1. That means you have plenty of time to develop your strategy for the second appeal.
10. Senior Citizen Tax Exemption-If you are 65+ years old and have lived in your home as your primary residence for 10+ years as of 1/1/2023, you qualify for a $100,000 property value reduction. You must apply for the reduction by July 15, 2023.
11. Disabled Veteran Tax Exemption-If you have been rated as 100% permanent and totally disabled by the US Department of Veteran Affairs, you qualify for a $100,000 property value reduction. You must apply with the department of Veteran Affairs for the reduction by July 1, 2023.
The most important factor to consider when appealing your tax valuation is:
Be polite and courteous to the people who work at the Assessor’s office. All of them, work and live in this area. Their properties are subject to the same rules and regulations as yours, and they have the same concerns with their properties as you do. They probably live near you. Their kids may go to the same schools as yours, and they have lived in and love Douglas County for many years, just like you and me.
They are there to help you understand the process, and work with you on your case. Work with them, not against them.
Hopefully this information will help you understand how the process works, so you can address your own situation with better insight.
Best wishes with your appeal,
About Douglas County Real Estate Agent Jim Garcia:
Jim Garcia, along with his full-service team, has been voted as one of the Best Real Estate Agents in Castle Rock, Colorado for several years. In 2022 Jim was voted One of the “Best Real Estate Agents in Colorado” and “One of the Best Real Estate Agents in America” by RealTrends.
Jim is in the “Top 1.5% of All Agents and Teams Nationwide”. He has over 250+ 5-Star online reviews. By providing exceptional customer service and reliable advice to clients so they can make well-informed buying and selling decisions, Jim’s goal is to help clients achieve successful real estate transactions and to meet the unique needs of his clients. Previously, Jim was a CEO/COO of several Colorado companies. He is a Master Certified Negotiation Expert in Real Estate, and has worked in the real estate industry for more than 25 years. He is a member of the Colorado Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, and the South Metro Denver Realtors Association.
As a Realtor, Jim Garcia specializes in Douglas and Elbert Counties, and works throughout the state of Colorado. Whether you are looking for homes for sale in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, or Lone Tree, Jim is available to help and answer most of your real estate questions.