Understanding Property Taxes in Colorado

Introduction

Property tax revenue supports public schools, county governments, special districts, municipal governments, and junior colleges. All of the revenue generated by property taxes stays within your county.  Property taxes do not fund any state services.  

The County Assessor is responsible for discovering, listing, classifying, and valuing all property in the county in accordance with state laws. The Assessor’s goal is to establish accurate values of all property located within the County, which in turn ensures that the tax burden is distributed fairly and equitably among all property owners.

Real property is revalued every odd-numbered year.  Personal property is revalued every year.  Property tax calculations consist of several components:

  • property classification
  • actual value of the property
  • assessment rate
  • assessed value
  • tax rate

Property Classification

Property is classified by the Assessor according to its actual use on January 1. The property’s classification determines the rate at which the property will be assessed.

Actual Value of the Property

Residential property is valued using only the market approach to value. In this approach, the value of the subject property is based on an analysis of comparable sales. For tax years 2023 and 2024, the comparable properties must have sold between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. However, if insufficient data existed during that timeframe, data from each preceding six-month period (up to a period of five years preceding June 30, 2022) may be utilized.

Most non-residential property, including personal property, is valued by consideration of the market approach, the cost approach, and the income approach to value. 

Assessment Rates

Please refer to the  2024 Assessment Rates (PDF) for a detailed listing of current assessment rates.

Assessed Value

Multiplying the actual value by the appropriate assessment rate results in what is known as the property’s “assessed value.”

DescriptionAmount
Actual Value$275,000
Single Family Res. Assess. Ratex0.06765
Assessed Value$18,603.75


Tax Rate

Each year County Commissioners, city councils, school boards, governing boards of special districts, and other taxing authorities determine the revenue needed and allowed under the law to provide services for the following year.

Each taxing authority calculates a tax rate based on the revenue needed from property tax and the total assessed value of real and personal property located within their boundaries. The tax rate is often expressed as a mill levy.

DescriptionAmount
Revenue from Property Tax$1,398,000  = 0.013980
Total Assessed Value$100,000,000
Mill Levy Calculation$1,398,000/$100,000,000 = .01398 or 13.980 mills


All of the tax rates of the various taxing authorities providing services in your tax area are added together to form the total tax rate. For example:

DescriptionAmount
County Tax Rate0.013980
City Tax Rate0.008752
School District Tax Rate0.052116
Water and Sanitation Tax Rate0.000693
Total Tax Rate0.075541


Public notices of budget hearings are published in the local newspaper. The public hearings are usually scheduled in September or October. By attending budget hearings, taxpayers may participate in the budget process and become informed about the quality and cost of services provided in their area.

Calculation of Property Tax

DescriptionAmount
Actual Value$275,000
Single Family Residential Assessment Ratex 0.06765
Assessed Value$18,603.75
Tax Ratex 0.075541
Taxes Due
$1,405.35

Notice of Valuation

Real Property Notices of Valuation are mailed by May 1 of each year. Personal Property Notices of Valuation are mailed by June 15 of each year. The notices list the location, classification, the characteristics germane to value, and the actual value of the property for both the prior and current years.

Protest and Appeal Rights

If you disagree with the actual value or classification placed on your property, you may present oral or written objections to the Assessor. Protests for real property must be postmarked or delivered to the assessor on or before June 8. Personal property protests must be postmarked or delivered to the assessor by June 30.

The Assessor must make a decision on your protest and mail a Notice of Determination to you by the last regular working day in June for real property and by July 10th for personal property. Any county may elect to extend the Notice of Determination mailing date from the last regular working day in June to August 15.

If you are dissatisfied with the Assessor’s decision, you may appeal to the County Board of Equalization by July 15 for real property and by July 20 for personal property. The County Board conducts hearings through August 5.  The County Board must notify you in writing within five business days of the date of its decision.  If you are dissatisfied with the County Board’s decision, you may appeal to an arbitrator, district court, or the Board of Assessment Appeals within 30 days of the date the decision was mailed.

Property Tax Bill

Property tax bills, reflecting the taxes due for the preceding year, are mailed as soon after January 1 as possible.

Tax amounts greater than $25 may be paid in one payment by April 30 or in two equal payments. The first half payment is due by the last day of February.  The second half payment is due by June 15. If the tax amount is $25 or less, payment in full is due on April 30.

Tax Relief

Senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and members of the National Guard and Reserves who are called into active military service may be eligible for the following tax relief programs:

  • Property Tax/Rent/Heat Rebate
  • Property Tax Deferral
  • Property Tax Work-Off Program
  • Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption
  • Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

You can obtain more information about these programs in the  Tax Relief Brochure provided by the Colorado Division of Property Taxation.