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With property values increasing as steadily and as rapidly as they are in Boulder County, it should come at no surprise that property taxes are following suit. This became very clear this past May when assessment notices made their way around town informing Boulder County residents that the assessed value of their property had significantly increased by on average 26%. Although it is exciting to watch the value of your assets increase it does mean that property taxes will most likely increase for you as well.

When discussing property taxes I believe it is helpful for anyone to have a basic understanding or concept of how property taxes are actually determined. When boiled down to the basics it is actually quite easy to understand.

Three major components go into your property taxes:

  • Rate of Assessment
  • Assessed Value
  • Mill Levy (Tax Rate)

The Rate of Assessment for residential properties in Colorado serves as the base for property taxes as it determines what percentage of your homes actual value can or will be taxed.  This can be adjusted on the state level and just recently got lowered for the first time in 14 years from 7.96% to 7.2%.  The rate of assessment is multiplied by the assessed value to your taxable value. The Assessed Value is the value assigned to your home by the county assessor.  This assessment is adjusted every two years based upon comparable sales in your neighborhood.  The assessed value is what arrived in your mailbox in May.  Finally, the Mill Levy (also known as the Tax Rate) is the percentage of the Assessed Value that is actually taxed and collected by the county on a yearly basis.  The Mill Levy is set every fall and sets the amount and allocation so that the budgets for schools, emergency services, roads, etc. are met.

As taxes rise, one tax exemption that may be important for you or your family members to know of is the Senior Property Tax Exemption. With the deadline of July 15th rapidly approaching it can be helpful to understand what this exemption is, how much it could save you, and of course if you are eligible. Those that are eligible for the Senior Property Tax Exemption will receive a 50% property tax deduction on the first $200,000 of the properties value equating to between $550 and $760 of property tax savings per year.

Am I eligible for this exemption?
You are eligible if you meet all three of the following requirements:

  • You Were born on or before January 1, 1952
  • You have continuously lived in the home starting before January 1st, 2007
  • You have continuously owned the home starting before January 1st, 2007

If you happen to meet all three of the requirements and file your application before July 15th, 2017 you will first see the discount on your tax bill in January of 2018. There is no need to reapply each year as the exemption will continuously stay active as long as no disqualifying event occurs.

To see more information on the exemption or to fill out the application go to: https://www.bouldercounty.org/property-and-land/assessor/senior-exemption/