As the colors change, so does the tax base of our rapidly growing county. That base is different in a couple of ways this fall.
First, 2017 is a reappraisal year when, in May, we let all property owners know the new value of their property as if it had sold on June 30, 2016. By statute, our office works with confirmed qualified market sales and income data to value properties.
The overall changes in actual value for the largest sectors of our real estate economy were (approximately):
Residential actual value increased 10.3 percent; Commercial property actual value increased 8.6 percent: Oil and gas value decreased 17.1 percent. Our office takes the overall actual values and multiplies them by assessment ratios that are then certified to the taxing entities for their use in budgeting.
The second change this year was for residential properties, required by the Gallagher Amendment. Because of the upward median change, statewide, in residential values, the assessment ratio for residential properties dropped from 7.96 percent to 7.20 percent. This will mean residential properties will carry less of the tax burden in the near future.
All other property types are not affected by the Gallagher Amendment and will have the same assessment ratios they have had since the 1980s.
After applying the ratios to the actual values, in August, we saw a 3 percent drop in assessed value for La Plata County and varying changes for other taxing entities that service your property.
The combination of new building construction, the higher actual values for residential properties and the change in the residential assessment ratio will have varying effects on the taxing entities. Most entities assessed values are virtually flat to slightly lower, except where oil and gas value is a large portion of the assessed value. These areas will see assessment value drops of more than 15 percent.
Finally, I am proud to report that the private state auditor recently confirmed that we are doing our job correctly, both operationally and statistically.
Craig N. Larson, La Plata County Assessor