If you experienced sticker shock when you received your real property notice of valuation from the El Paso County Assessor’s Office, you’re not alone. Many homeowners in the Colorado Springs area have seen some of the biggest property value gains in recent history.
Property tax assessments are completed every two years. To show you the extent of the increase, consider this: In El Paso County, home values have shot up an average of 50-60 percent since 2019. Higher property values also means higher taxes, and the county uses their own determination of value to calculate how much property tax you owe.
If you think there is a mistake, you can appeal your home’s valuation by filing an appeal. If your appeal is successful, you could end up with a lower tax bill.
Notice of Valuation
First of all, read your assessment letter carefully. This letter is from the El Paso County Assessor’s office and is called a “Real Property Notice of Valuation.” This letter will include the legal description of your property along with the lot size, square footage, year built and the current year actual value of your home.
The assessed value is important because it determines how much you will owe in property taxes. The next property tax bill you will receive is calculated by multiplying your property’s market value by the county’s property tax assessment rate, which is currently 6.765%. If you feel that your assessed value is higher than your property’s true value, then you can challenge it. But do so quickly, because you have a limited time to appeal the assessment. The deadline for filing an appeal is June 8, 2023.
On the back of the “Real Property Notice of Valuation” letter, you will also see the requirements for appealing the county’s valuation.
What do I base my appeal on?
You can base the appeal on a mistake that you see on the Notice of Valuation letter. Perhaps they listed your lot as 2 full acres rather than 0.2 acres. You certainly have the basis for an easy appeal if that’s the case. Also check if they have the correct square footage notated. What you’ll want to do is point out any mistakes that may have made your property value too high. Be sure to study the assessment letter closely and make sure there are no errors that would lead the assessor to believe the home is worth more than it truly is.
You can also enlist the help of a real estate agent who can provide you with comparable properties or “comps” in an attempt to show that your home’s actual value is lower than the market value that was determined by the assessor. If you’re unfamiliar with comps, these are the recent sales of similar homes in your neighborhood. Comps typically include similar features such as floor plan, condition, year built and square footage. If you can find discrepancies between these sales prices and the assessed value of your home, then you could possibly save on your property taxes should your appeal be approved. If you had a recent appraisal during the data gathering period, then you may also want to include that in your appeal package, assuming it’s less than your current market value.
How is the updated valuation calculated?
Your property value is calculated by using the “market approach to value” model. This approach uses sales stats from the data gathering period and applies to all residential properties (versus the “cost approach to value” for non-residential properties). The gathering period the county used to determine your current market value was from January, 1 2021 to June 30, 2022, so you will want to use comparable sales during that period as the basis for your appeal.
Steps for appealing your El Paso County property valuation
You can submit your appeal either online or by mail/phone/fax.
Submit Appeal Online
You can submit your appeal online by visiting https://property.spatialest.com/co/elpaso/#/
- Enter your property address, tax schedule number or name (last, first).
- Scroll down to the appeal button and fill out the form.
- Upload the supporting documentation (comps).
Other Appeal Methods
You can submit your appeal by mail, telephone, fax, or in person.
Here’s the contact information:
Office of the El Paso County Assessor
1675 West Garden of the Gods Road, Suite 2300
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
FAX (719) 520-6665
Phone (719) 520-6600
After the Assessor reviews your appeal and makes a decision, they will mail you a “Notice of Determination” (NOD) by the end of June. If you don’t receive the NOD or you’re not satisfied with the outcome, you can still file a written appeal with the County Board of Equalization.