These figures are courtesy of the Western Colorado Assessors.

Property owners in most of Western Colorado can expect “tremendous” valuation increases on their 2023 Notice of Valuation being mailed out this week. That’s according to a press release from the Western Colorado Assessors. They said strong demands for real estate, high costs of construction, low mortgage rates and a steady influx from bigger cities to the Western Slope are responsible for the significant rise this year. 

Gunnison County Assessor’s Communication officer William Spicer said the upcoming valuations are going …

SPICER: In a single word – up. So the bottom line is that not for every type of property, but most types of property, certainly residential properties. And vacant land in particular, you’re going to see some pretty big increases.  If there’s good news, I would say for commercial property owners commercial property did not go up anywhere near as much as everything else. Most of them are still going to see a modest increase, but nothing like the increases that we saw for single family residences.

Gunnison County property values rank among some of the highest on the Western Slope, averaging a 53% increase in residential property value compared to a 46% average on the western slope. 

SPICER: So there’s a couple of things that we have observed about Gunnison County’s housing market.  And I think it’s generally true resort counties, like if you looked at San Miguel County, where Telluride is, or if you looked at Route County, where Steamboat Springs is, they follow the same kind of patterns.  And the first thing is that we tend to lag a little bit behind the front range. Anyway, when it comes to the impact of economic changes.

County assessors conduct a revaluation of all county properties every two years. 

This year’s valuations were established using market sales data from July of 2020 through June of 2022. These new valuations will be used for tax years 2023 and 2024 payable in 2024 and 2025.

SPICER: And so a big part of our data, if you look at the sales, we spend a lot of time gathering sales information and analyzing it.  And that’s really how we come up with most of our valuations. And then we analyze them to figure out what that means for valuations of properties based on all the main characteristics that tend to affect value, like how big your house is, what quality it is, where it is in the county.

Spicer said he doesn’t have a good crystal ball to predict where the market will go – 

SPICER: … But right now, what I see in Gunnison county is I think there’s still pretty strong demand.  I just think it’s kind of people are putting things on hold a little bit because interest rates are kind of high right now. So I would expect maybe two years from now, when we do our next reappraisal, I certainly don’t think values will go up anything like we’ve seen in this previous cycle. But I also don’t think they will go down much either. I suspect it’s going to even out and then I suspect the market will continue to pick up and climb again after that.

Valuations will be mailed out today, and property owners can expect their 2023 valuations this week. And the appeals process is open for interested community members as well. 

SPICER: So anytime between May 1 and and this year is between May 1 And June the eighth you can initiate is an appeal and you have to initiate it with the assessor’s office, it’s very easy, just has to be in writing, we can’t take it over the phone, but we can take you by email. Email is actually the method that we encourage people to use.

Spicer said property owners with sticker shock over the significant increase should take advantage of the appeals process, call email or come have a conversation with staff.

SPICER: So it’s it will be shocking, maybe to see a number but on the other hand, there’s kind of some overall awareness that that’s what the market has been doing.

That’s William Spicer, Gunnison County Assessor’s Communication officer. 

For interested community members, The Assessors office also released a new web application available this year called Comper, which can be accessed at Gunnison county’s website under the Assessors Office tab. Comper allows taxpayers to identify sales of properties similar to theirs, and confirm that the assessor’s valuation is supported by market data. Property owners can even print a customized comparable sales report and submit that with an appeal if they believe the assessor’s valuation is incorrect.

For KBUT, I’m Kate Gienapp.

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