Valuation notices in the mail

Posted 4/30/09

Arapahoe County property owners should be receiving their notices of valuation from the county soon and will have the opportunity to appeal their …

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Valuation notices in the mail

Posted

Arapahoe County property owners should be receiving their notices of valuation from the county soon and will have the opportunity to appeal their property values.

Because the county’s official valuations are used to establish a homeowner’s property taxes, this is the one time when many homeowners, at least temporarily, hope that their properties have not exorbitantly increased in value.

In addition to a property’s value, residential valuation notices also include photos and information on five recently sold similar and nearby properties.

These “comparables” are to give homeowners a better understanding of the valuation process and how the value of their home was determined, according to County Assessor Corbin Sakdol, who says the county strives to provide accurate assessments.

"It’s an enormous task to reappraise over 200,000 properties and I’m extremely proud of my staff for completing a very difficult reappraisal on time," he said.

Property in Colorado is reappraised by county assessor during odd-numbered years. Homes are valued on the market approach, which means values assigned to a home are based on the sale of similar properties during an 18-month period.

The notices issued by the county assessor’s office include information on the “actual value” of a property as of June 30, 2008. But given the current economic climate, some may be surprised by what they see on their appraisals.

The 18-month sales period for the current reappraisal is Jan. 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008, even though the housing market has changed considerably during the last year.

Still, Sakdol says his methods are limited by state statute. That means some property owners will notice an increase in their values, even though the overall market has seen declining values.

"Despite the current economic climate, the law does not allow assessors to use current market values or any other data after June 30, 2008," the assessor explained.

According to Sakdol, state law only allows sales prior to June 30, 2008 to be considered because information provided after that date would not give assessors the time to process and analyze the data.

Still, Sakdol is quick to point out that there is a legal course of action for property owners who dispute their valuations.

"My goal is to ensure property owners understand the valuation process and the steps they can take if they do not agree with their property value,” he said. “We want to make this process as easy as possible, and make sure property owners have the information they need to present their case."

Sakdol’s office offers property owners a variety of methods to appeal their valuations. Appeals can be filed by mail, fax or in person at two locations:

Arapahoe County Administration Building, 5334 S. Prince St. in Littleton

CentrePoint Plaza, 14980 E. Alameda Drive, Suite 110 in Aurora

Appeals by mail or fax will be accepted at the Littleton or Aurora locations and must be postmarked or received by fax no later than June 1, 2009. The same deadline applies to in-person appeals.

Residential property owners have the option of appealing online by completing the Residential Appeal Form found on the county’s Web site, co.arapahoe.co.us.

The Web site can also be used to obtain information, file residential property appeals and schedule residential appointments.

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