Boulder Real Estate Property Assessment Info

I frequently get calls and emails from buyer clients asking about how the Boulder real estate property taxes work in our area. As I get the opportunity to deal with many people who are moving into the Boulder area, these kinds of questions make a lot of sense.

Boulder County covers a large area so the City of Boulder as well as Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont, Superior, and areas in between are generally covered by the same processes.

The biggest question usually is: “how is property valued”?

Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

Discovery, Listing and Valuing Property

The assessment process involves discovering and listing information about properties and determining property values. It also involves analyzing the values to ensure they meet the standards of fair assessment, and certifying the assessment roll to the appropriate taxing authorities. To ensure equalization, the Assessor must determine residential property values by using only appropriate market information. Values for most other properties are determined from relevant cost, market, and income data.

Information Collection

The first step in the assessment process is to gather information on ownership, location, use, sales, building measurements, construction type, construction costs, and rental income. Primary sources for this information are real property deeds and declarations, subdivision maps, building permits, and local building contractors. Other primary sources are declarations filed by owners of taxable personal property and appraisers who conduct on-site inspections to gather land and building characteristics.

The Assessor stores, updates and maintains this information for current and future use in the assessment process.

Appraisal – Estimating Value

Real property (land and buildings) is reappraised by the Assessor’s office every odd numbered year. The value determined by the Assessor for the year of reappraisal is generally used for the intervening year also. The actual value of real property is based on its value as of the appraisal date, which is June 30th of the year prior to the reappraisal year.

Physical changes in your property

A property’s value may alter over time due to physical changes, such as new rooms finished in the basement or extensive remodeling and modernization. Changes made to maintain your property’s current value, such as painting your home, replacing your roof or making repairs would not necessarily increase the value of the property. But, if these tasks were not performed, the condition of the home would deteriorate which could adversely affect the value.

Valuation of Residential Property

The Market Approach

Residential properties, by law, must be valued solely by the market approach, using comparable verified sales from the study period. Click on the link for more detailed information on Time Trending, used in the valuation of residential properties.

The market approach is the most direct method of appraisal. Market value is the most probable price, expressed in terms of money, that a property would bring if exposed for sale in the open market in an arm’s length transaction between a willing seller and willing buyer, both of whom are knowledgeable concerning all the uses to which it is adapted and for which it is capable of being used.


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