Hot Real Estate Market Cited as Major Culprit For Huge Tax Hikes
~ by Bob Volpe ~
Hundreds of property owners in Teller County are grappling with a massive rise in their property values as a result of the 2019 revaluation, completed by the assessor’ office.
With this hike in values, residents can expect a big increase in their property taxes. Colorado state law directs all 64 counties in the state to revalue property in every odd-numbered year.
The county assessor bases the revaluation on mostly sales data. This year Teller County property owners saw a rise in their property values ranging from 23 percent to over 50 percent from the previous assessment.
According to Teller County Assessor Colt Simmons, some of the factors that determine a rise (or fall) in property values are: square footage of living space, basement area, upper floor area, quality grade, land
acreage square footage, design type, effective year built bathrooms, garages and carports, condition, location adjustments, and roof type.
The major factor driving the increase in property values is location and part of Colorado’s burgeoning market.
Over the last several years, the Front Range of Colorado has seen a massive influx of people moving to the area. According to several studies, the Denver/Colorado Springs area has been rated among the top
three places to live in the country. These studies are the driving market force behind the increase in property sales prices, which continue to skyrocket. Simply put, it’s a matter of supply and demand. As the supply of homes and property are limited, and the demand to purchase homes and property increases, prices rise. An article in The (Colorado Springs) Gazette, dated December 6, 2018, stated, “The Springs has made the Realtor.com ‘hottest markets’ list several times in recent months, as the area’s surging economy and job growth have heightened the demand for housing. That has led to strong home sales and rising prices.”
Simmons explained that in June of 2018, the median sale price of a property in Teller County was $320,000, but this varied by area. In Woodland Park, the median sale price was estimated at $365,000. By comparisons, in Cripple Creek it was $152,449, in Victor it was $123,500, and in unincorporated areas of the county, the price hovered around the $292,418 mark.
Simmons supplied data on sale prices on some of the areas. In Woodland Park’s Sunnywood subdivision, the median sale price in June of 2016 was $288,919, but by June of 2018, it rose to $379,964. This compared to data from previous years, represented a rise in the value of 30.68 percent. In Cripple Creek, the numbers were somewhat less. The median sale price in June of 2016 was $112,500, but jumped to $147,775 in 2018, representing an increase of 26 percent. The biggest increase in value from the numbers supplied by Simmons was in the Florissant area’s Crystal Peak subdivision.
There the median sale price in June of 2016 was $175,845, but soared to $263,277 in June of 2018, representing an increase of 49.72 percent. On a county-wide basis, Simmons told the commissioners last week that the rise in values has escalated by an average rate of 32 percent, compared to the previous revaluation two years ago. This increase is basically a state-wide trend, according to Simmons.
These increases shocked many property owners in the county. Simmons’ office has received hundreds of appeals due to the rise in assessments, and he expects that number to increase before the June 1, 2019 deadline to file an appeal. Those who wish to appeal their property valuation can do so online,
(http://www.co.teller.co.us/Assessor/default.aspx), in person at the assessor’s office at 101 W. Bennett Ave. Cripple Creek, or by mail at Teller County Assessor, PO Box 1008, Cripple Creek, CO 80813. The
deadline for appeal is June 1, 2019.
Simmons told the commissioners last week that he expects more than 2,500 protests to be filed by the deadline.
Additional Options for Seniors and Veterans
Another way to lower your property tax burden is available to seniors and disabled veterans who meet certain qualifications. For seniors, an exemption of up to 50 percent of the first $200,000 of actual value
can be had. To qualify you must be 65 years of age on January 1 of the year in which you apply; you must have owned the property for at least 10 consecutive years prior to January 1, and you must occupy
the property as your primary residence for at least 10 consecutive years prior to January 1. The caveat to this exemption is that the state legislature must fund the exemption every year.
The disabled veteran exemption is available to veterans of up to 50 percent of the first $200,000 of actual value of the applicant’s primary residence. To qualify you must have; sustained a service
related disability while on active duty serving in the United States armed forces; have an honorable discharge; have a 100 percent permanent disability; and the veteran must own the property since
January 1st of the year applying.
These exemptions can be found and applied for on the assessor’s web site at, http://www.co.teller.co.us/Assessor/default.aspx or in person at the assessor’s office in Cripple Creek.
Simmons encourages anyone who disputes their reevaluation to come
forth and appeal to the findings. He stated he is always open to having the public visit with any issues they want to discuss with the assessor’s office.