The County Assessor is responsible for discovering, listing, classifying and valuing all property in the county in accordance with state laws. The Assessor's goal is to establish accurate values of all property located within the county, which in turn ensures that the tax burden is distributed fairly and equitably among all property owners.
The Assessor collects data on all property, including exempt property. This data includes a description of the improvements, land size, legal description, ownership, property address and owner address. The Assessor maps provide a general description of the site shape and size.
Property tax revenue supports public schools, county governments, special districts, and municipal governments. All of the revenue generated by property taxes stays within our county. Property taxes do not fund any state services.
All property, real and personal, located in the State of Colorado on the assessment date, January 1, is taxable unless expressly exempted by the Constitution or state statutes. Article X, Section 3, Colorado Constitution, and 39-1-102 (16), C.R.S.
In Colorado, property is valued using three approaches to value: the market approach, the cost approach, and the income approach. However, there are exceptions. Residential real property is valued by the market approach only and agricultural and natural resource land use a production based valuation procedure.
The data used to apply the various approaches to value are gathered during specific data collection periods as described in statute. Only information from those time frames can be used to determine the level of value. Property taxes are not calculated on the ''full actual value'' as determined by the assessor. Instead, an assessment percentage is applied according to the classification of the property. 39-1-104(1) and (1.5), C.R.S. Residential property is assessed at a percentage of the actual value; currently, this percentage is 7.15% while most other property is assessed at 29%.
Residential property is valued using only the market approach to value. In this approach, the value of the subject property is based on an analysis of the Comparable Sales.
For example; for tax years 2015 and 2016, the comparable properties must have been sold between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2014. For tax years 2015 and 2016, Colorado County Assessors are required by law to reappraise all real property to reflect a June 30, 2014 level of value. That level of value represents a 'snapshot' of property values during the time frame.
Multiplying the actual value by the appropriate assessment rate results in what is known as the property's "assessed value."
Actual Value $275,000
Residential Assessment Rate x .0715
Assessed Value $ 19,662.50
Each year, county commissioners, town boards, school boards, and governing bodies of special districts (Fire, Water, Cemetery Districts), also known as political subdivisions, determine the revenue needed to provide services the following year.
Each political subdivision calculates a tax rate based on the revenue needed from property tax and the total assessed value of all real and personal property located within the political subdivisions' boundaries. This tax rate is called a mill levy, because it is calculated in mills.
Public notices of budget hearings for those entities are published in the local newspaper. By attending budget hearings, taxpayers may participate in the budget process and become informed about the quality and cost of services provided in their area. The Assessor classifies and values the property. The various taxing entities determine the tax rate/mill levy. You can find your mill levies below in our most recent abstract of assessment.
Each year Colorado Counties are required to submit to the Division of Property Taxation, the Property Tax Administrator, The State Board of Equalization and the County Board of Equalization (The Board of County Commissioners) an Abstract of Assessment. The annual Abstract of Assessment contains assessed valuations and parcel counts for the various property classifications.
We are providing a synopsis of that Abstract along with information regarding the Mill Levy for each Taxing District as well as the Distribution of Revenue to each of those Taxing Districts.
Before you start any construction on your property, you will be required to complete an Improvement Notice and return it to our office with the applicable fees. You will need an Improvement Notice for the following: New Construction: New Home, Business, Manufactured Home, etc.
Addition to existing building: porch, deck, garage, carport, finish basement, etc.
New agriculture building: outbuilding, shed, barn, equipment shed, hay shed, etc.
There are two types of mobile homes, purged and un-purged.
If a mobile home is purged, it becomes real property. There is an inspection that must be done to make sure the home is permanently attached per requirements and documents that must be sent to the state (including the MCO,MSO or title). Once a Mobile home has been purged and is part of the real property there is only one parcel/account number. The process for purging a mobile home involves the Assessor's Office, the Clerk and Recorder's Office and the Treasurer's Office.
If a mobile home is un-purged, it still has a title and will have a separate parcel/account number from the property on which it is placed. If a piece of property with an un-purged mobile home is sold with the home, the title must be transferred in the Clerk and Recorder's office, just like a motor vehicle. If the property is sold and the mobile home is to be moved, the owner must go to the Treasurer's Office and obtain a Tax Authentication Certificate and a moving permit.
Personal Property is defined by the State of Colorado as: equipment, machinery, furniture, security devices, household furnishings and signs which are used for the production of income or in the operation of a business. All personal property is taxable in Colorado unless exempt by Statute.
If you have questions regarding Personal Property or need assistance in completing a declaration schedule, please call 970-677-2385 and speak to our Personal Property Specialist.
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs website has Personal Property Declaration forms for the different types of Personal Property. These forms need to be returned to The Assessor's office at 409 N Main St, or PO Box 478, Dove Creek, CO 81324 by April 15th.
Real Property Notices of valuation are mailed by no later than May 1 in a Re-Appraisal year. The notices list the location, classification, characteristics relevant to the value, and the actual value of the property for both prior and current years. By May 1, the County Assessor will mail a Notice of Valuation to all property owners. Your Notice of Valuation is a document you receive in May of every odd year (2011, 2013, 2015, etc.) giving you the current value and classification of your real property as determined during the Valuation Period. The Notice of Valuation also indicates the valuation and classification of your property during the last valuation period.
If you disagree with the actual value or classification placed on your property, you may present oral or written objections to the Assessor. Protests for real property must be postmarked or delivered to the Assessor on or before May 31. Instructions for protesting are on the back of your Notice of Value.
There are several types of property tax exemptions available to those who qualify.
A property tax exemption is available to senior citizens, surviving spouses of senior citizens, and disabled veterans. For those who qualify, 50% of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted. The state pays the exempted portion of the property tax. Application requirements are as follows:
Senior Citizen Exemption
The exemption is available to applicants who:
- Are at least 65 years of age as of January 1 of the year of application
- Owned their home for at least 10 years as of January 1 of the year of application
- Occupied said home as their primary residence for at least 10 years as of January 1 of the year of application.
Limited exceptions to the ownership and occupancy requirements are detailed in the qualifications section of the application. A surviving spouse of a senior who qualified for the exemption may also apply. If you have previously applied and been approved, you don't need to apply again. The application deadline for each tax year is July 15. Completed forms should be submitted to the Dolores County Assessor at 409 N Main St, or PO Box 478, Dove Creek, CO 81324.
Disabled Veterans Exemption
The exemption is available to applicants who:
- Sustained a service connected disability while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States
- Were honorably discharged and were rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as one hundred percent "permanent and total" disabled
- Owned and occupied the home as his or her primary residence as of January 1 of the year of application.
Limited exceptions to the ownership and occupancy requirements are detailed in the eligibility requirements of the application. The application deadline for each tax year is July 1.
Completed applications should be submitted to the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs at the following address:
Colorado Division of Military and Veterans Affairs
Division of Veterans Affairs
1355 S. Colorado Blvd., Bldg. C, Suite 113
Denver, Colorado 80222
Phone: 303-343-1268 • Fax 303-343-7238
Agricultural property is used primarily to produce a profit from growing and selling crops or grazing animals. Classification is based on current use. The property owner must apply to the Assessor's office to have their property classified as Agricultural. The application (Questionnaire) is available from the Dolores County Assessor's Office or in PDF format below. Property owners must complete the application, and submit it with copies of receipts, leases, or Schedule F from Federal income taxes, showing the income from the agricultural use of the property. For a property to become classified as Agricultural, it takes 1 full year of verified use on properties that have adjudicated water rights or actual use verified for 3 consecutive years for properties with no water rights.
After the application, the appraiser will visit the property to verify the use, they will review all of the land uses, soil types, any water rights and how the water is put to use and information on the occupants of the homes. Once all of the information is verified for the proper time frame and the visit complete the property can be classified Agricultural. Property owners whose properties have changed classification will receive a Notice of Valuation showing the change.
Agricultural land is valued based on what it can produce, whereas residential and vacant lands are both valued at market value as of a base year, which is updated every 2 years. Agricultural land values are determined using an income formula that relies on 10 year averages for both commodity prices and expenses. These values are also updated every 2 years. The values currently range from a high of approximately $519.00 per acre to a low of approximately $7.00 per acre. Agricultural land and the improvements used in the agricultural operations (barns and sheds) are taxed at 29% of their value.
Visit the Colorado Department of Local Affairs website to learn more about the Colorado Department of Property Taxation. There you will find information about understanding property taxes, property valuation and taxation for business and industry, senior citizen and disabled veterans property tax exemptions, and how agricultural property is valued.