The El Paso County Assessor re-evaluates the value of homes in Colorado Springs every two years (on the odd year). The assessed market value of a home is based on the most recent comparable sales in the area. The only exception to the two year rule is if a homeowner finishes their basement or makes another substantial improvement to the home requiring a re-assessment.
Once the Assessor calculates the market value for a Colorado Springs home, the market value is multiplied by 7.96% (current assessment rate for all residential properties) to figure the assessed value of the property.
The assessed value is then multiplied by the most current mill levy (for the area) to calculate the yearly property taxes. The yearly property taxes are usually included in a homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment and paid in arrears.
The mill levy for your area is dependent on many factors including but not limited to the school district, fire district, water district, library district, your county, and city. These various taxing entities comprise the total mill levy for an area. Taxing entities in one area may be higher than another. For example, the taxes for School District 20 are higher than those of School District 11. Although, the school district is not the only taxing entity in an area, the example gives you some information regarding the various mill levies for El Paso County.
You can appeal the assessed value of your Colorado Springs home but you may find it to be a difficult task. Many homes in the current Colorado Springs Real Estate market are selling for less than their assessed values. If you decide to appeal your home’s assessed value, remember the El Paso County Assessor does not consider 2008 comparable sales for the current assessed values. If you make the decision to appeal the assessed value of your property, the only comparable sales that may be used to appeal your case must fall within the Assessor’s collection dates above.
The most recent assessed values are based residential sales information from January 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006.
2011 was a reappraisal year in Colorado Springs and many folks are requesting information regarding the appeals process. Homeowners can appeal their property taxes any time of the year but appealing outside of the typical window (May 1st to May 31st) may not be as advantageous. Homeowners are only given one chance or response to their appeal if they choose to appeal property taxes outside of the “normal” window. On the other hand, appealing taxes within the typical window of time allows homeowners to take a response to their appeal to a higher level if necessary. The next assessment will occur in 2011.
Homeowners filing an appeal can only use sold comparables from the 24-month period specified by the El Paso County Assessor. When 2011 values were assessed for taxes due in 2012, the 24-month data collection period was from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010.
Additional Reading: Colorado Springs Homes- Understanding Property Taxes