There are many reasons why Colorado has been one of the fastest-growing states since 2010. Not only are people attracted to the breathtaking scenery and the active outdoor lifestyle, but it also has some of the most favorable property tax rates. So, if the fair weather and 300 days of sunshine aren’t enough reason to move here, perhaps the financial benefits are. For those who are looking to preserve their nest egg or reduce annual taxes, here is where you can find the lowest property tax rate in Colorado.
A Quick Look at Property Tax in Colorado
No matter where you decide to settle down, you will have to pay your share of property taxes if you own your home. Without fail, you will receive an annual bill from the County Assessor’s Office detailing how much you owe. However, one thing that is slightly unusual in Colorado is that they reassess property taxes every other year (ones ending in an odd number).
In the grand scheme of things, Colorado ranks 30th out of the 50 states in the amount of money collected. If you live in Centennial State, you can expect to pay $1,437 per household for annual property taxes. Based on a home with a median value of $237,800, the state collects 0.6% of your property’s assessed fair market value. Therefore, with an average income of $71,154, that comes to approximately 2.2% of the average yearly income.
Property Tax by County
Colorado has had one of the fastest-growing populations in the U.S. And, it shows no signs of slowing down. Currently, there are nearly 5.8 million people across 64 counties. The highest concentrations of people live around the Denver and Colorado Springs metropolitan areas. As you would expect, the property taxes are higher near these urban centers and more scenic, resort areas.
The state’s averages property taxes are relatively low. However, there are drastic variations between counties since each county determines and levies its own property tax rates. Douglas County has the highest rate with an annual average of $2,590. This equates to 0.76% of the state’s median home value. Pitkin County has the second-highest amount at $2,574. Although the rate is very low at 0.38%, the average home value is $670,200. The next highest is Eagle County which collects an average of $2,205. Likewise, the rate here is only 0.42%, but the median home value of $530,900 levies a hefty tax.
Lowest Property Tax in Colorado
As mentioned above, there is a drastic variation between the highs and lows which each county collects. In general terms, the counties in the southeast corner of the state have the lowest property tax rate in Colorado. Situated along the New Mexico border, Costilla County lies in one of the most remote corners of the state. However, it only collects an average of $317 annually or 0.3% of the median home value. The next lowest property tax in Colorado is Cheyenne County at $398 (0.49%) and then Baca County at $399 (0.55%) for 2020.
Property Tax Breaks and Exemptions
Paying your property taxes is an obligation every citizen has, and one that is enforced by the law. This money is used to fund local school districts, public safety, and infrastructure projects through the local government. However, some people are eligible for a property tax exemption in Colorado. So, if you plan to move or currently live in Colorado, here are a few exemptions you should know about.
All senior citizens who are 65 and over can receive an exemption. The only eligibility requirements are that you:
- must be the home or property owner,
- occupy it as the primary residence 10 years prior to submitting an application for the exemption, and
- apply by July 15 in the year you want to receive the exemption.
The second one offers specific benefits to disabled veterans who have 100% permanent and total disability rating with the US Department of Veteran Affairs. In addition to the rating, you must also have a service-related disability and have lived at the residence since January 1 of the application year.
Homestead Tax Exemption
One exemption that any property owner can take advantage of is the Homestead Tax Exemption. Homeowners can deduct up to $75,000 of their property’s value. And, it goes up to $105,000 if you, your spouse, or your dependent is over 60 or disabled. However, you must live on the property to qualify for the property tax exemption.
Appeals to the County Assessor’s Office
Although taxes are a legal obligation, there are instances in which they do make mistakes. If you feel the valuation of your home is too high or that the County Assessor’s Office has made a mistake, you can appeal. If you find an error or have strong grounds for an appeal, you can make a formal request by filing an appeal. The deadline to protest the valuation with the County Assessor is June 1. The office must mail their response by the last working day of June.
However, if you choose to appeal to the Board of Equalization, the paperwork must be filed by July 15. And, if you decide to make an appeal to the state court, it must be started within 30 days of receiving the valuation from the County Board of Equalization. Although you can also ask for arbitration, it will eliminate your right to any further appeals.
Choosing to protest your property taxes forces can be difficult. To help navigate, you can use this guide to help with the legal process and documentation needed. However, if your requests and appeals have been rejected multiple times, you should consider if the savings you could receive are worth the time and effort you invest in it. If you choose to pursue this route, keeping track of deadlines and seeking professional advice could provide guidance.
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