Boulder County property values jumped between mid-2014 and mid-2016, according to Boulder County Assessor Cindy Braddock.
Braddock and her staff have completed their latest biennial round of countywide property reappraisals and on Monday will be mailing more than 119,400 "2017 Notices of Value" postcards to the owners of residential, commercial and industrial properties.
The percentage increase of the total values of residential properties in Boulder County — including single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, condominium units, mobile homes and multi-family residential properties — grew by 31.7 percent since the 2015 report of countywide appraisals that was based on residential values as of mid-2014, Braddock said.
She reported that the total value of residential real estate in the county soared from about $46.2 billion in mid-2014 to more than $60.8 billion as of mid-2016.
The total values of commercial real estate in Boulder County grew by 23.3 percent, from about $8.9 billion in mid-2014 to more than $11 billion as of mid-2016, Braddock said.
The real-estate value increases in the notices that most individual property owners will be getting, reflected in those total countywide increases, demonstrate that "we have had a very strong economy in our county, and low inventory," Braddock said.
She cited a high demand for a limited supply of properties for sale.
"Competition in the market has caused higher sales prices, which in turn increases property values," Braddock said.
"Limited inventory, reduced numbers of entry-level properties," along with people moving to the county because of increased job opportunities and its reputation as "a sought-after place to live," Braddock said, "has sustained the increase in values of all property types in Boulder County."
Median-value percentage increases for single-family homes in various cities, towns and unincorporated Boulder County areas were in the double digits, ranging from a 13 percent increase in homes in an unincorporated Front Range mountains region between Nederland and Boulder to a 30 percent increase in the median value of homes in the Gunbarrel area.
Some of the median-value increases in the 2017 reappraisals of the mid-2016 market values of single-family residences in Boulder County's cities and towns — as compared to the medians of the mid-2014 values the Assessor's Office assigned to homes in those cities in 2015 — were: Longmont, 23 percent; Lafayette, 27 percent; Louisville, 22 percent; Boulder, 26 percent; Superior, 18 percent, and the Boulder County portion of Erie, 17 percent.
Boulder County Notices of Property Value
Owners of properties located in Boulder County will soon get Notices of Value postcards in the mail.
Information about the property appraisal and assessment process will be posted on the Boulder County Assessor's Office's website, BoulderCountyAssessor.org. People also can call the Assessor's Office at 303-441-3530.
The Boulder County Assessor's Office will be open for people who want to file appeals or ask questions in person, including:
• The assessor's main office on the second floor of the downtown Boulder County Courthouse building, 1325 Pearl St., Boulder, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
• The Lafayette Community Services Center, 1376 Miner's Drive Unit 105, Lafayette, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with staff available to assist residential property owners from May 8 to May 12 and commercial property owners on May 9.
• The St. Vrain Conference Room in Boulder County's St. Vrain Community Hub in Longmont, 529 Coffman St., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with staff available to assist residential property owners May 15-19 and May 22-26 and commercial property owners on May 17 and May 24.
• Lyons' Town Hall, 432 Fifth Ave., Lyons, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 10.
• Boulder's George Reynolds Branch Library, 3595 Table Mesa Drive, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 9, May 12, May 22 and May 26.
Boulder County Assessor Cindy Braddock's letter to property owners can be viewed at bit.ly/2qoyzBK
As was the case in the Boulder County Assessor's 2015 reappraisal report, the higher property values the office has assigned in its 2017 appraisals are probably already apparent to would-be homebuyers who have been house hunting since mid-2014.
Braddock noted that since the mid-2016 market-value date — the basis of the latest 2017 values her office has assigned — home prices in many locations have continued to rise.
That will mean that many homes are actually worth more in the current real estate market than the mid-2016 market values.
The next two years of property tax bills will be based in part on the mid-2016 market values assigned by the Assessor's Office, however, rather than increased sales prices for those specific homes or for comparable properties in their geographic areas since last June 30.
The property tax bills owners get in 2018 and 2019 also will depend on the annual budget and mill-levy tax-collection decisions made by the taxing entities with jurisdictions over each property's location — the school district, the municipality, the county and any special local taxing district in which that property lies.
Neither the county assessor nor the county treasurer — the office that sends out the annual property tax bills — control those local budgets or the property tax mill levies set to help fund those budgets.
Boulder County Treasurer Paul Weissmann — whose office mails out property tax bills on behalf of more than 130 taxing jurisdictions each year — has noted that few taxpayers typically show up at local governments' public budget hearings.
"If you don't want your property taxes going up, or you want to be sure your money is being spent well, then that's the time to get involved," Weissmann said last year — advice he repeated in an interview last week.
While the new values will be part of the basis for calculating property tax bills that will come due in 2018 and 2019, property owners will have through June 1 to file appeals if they disagree with the assessor's decisions about those mid-2016 real estate values.
The higher 2018 and 2019 property tax bills that could result from the assessor's higher residential real estate market-value assignments are expected to be offset, somewhat, by a lowering of the assessment rates used to calculate those residential taxes.
Since 2003, owners of residential properties have paid taxes on 7.96 percent of the market values their county assessors assigned to those properties.
Under a state constitutionally-required adjustment that the Legislature is expected to adopt before it adjourns on May 10, that residential assessment rate — the portion of the property's market value that's subject to local property taxes — will drop to 7.2 percent of the home's 2017 assessor-assigned market value.
For commercial, industrial and other types of non-residential real estate, however, the assessment rate will remain at 29 percent of that property's market value.
The notice of value postcards being mailed to property owners include basic assessment information and a page that can be mailed as an appeal form. Property owners can also appeal their values by fax, in person and online.
In 2015, after the Boulder County Assessor's Office sent out notices of value based on mid-2014 market values that had surged above mid-2012 levels, the office got more than 11,000 appeals, then-Assessor Jerry Roberts said in June 2015.
At that same point in June 2013, the office got 5,441 appeals from values assigned for mid-2012, a time when Roberts said the reappraisals showed a relatively flat Boulder County real estate market that was still recovering from the impacts of the 2008 recession.
John Fryar: 303-684-5211, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/jfryartc
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