Thousands protest new, higher Grand County property assessments
August 23, 2009
Grand County 2009 property tax assessments increased by 13.71 percent overall, according to an abstract summary released by the Grand County assessor’s office.
Commercial properties especially increased with a difference of 16 percent from 2008 to 2009.
Because of the commercial increase in valuations, the majority of formal challenges to assessments were by commercial property owners, according to Grand County Assessor Tom Weydert.
Winter Park Resort on behalf of its base business properties was the largest entity to start in the protest process, but later withdrew, Weydert said.
In all, 2,100 people protested at the assessor’s level. Of them, 229 individuals appealed to the County Board of Equalization where local appraisers sit as referees and make recommendations to county commissioners, who serve as the board.
The amount of valuations protested to the board exceeded $95 million, the abstract states.
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The board deemed 95 percent of those properties as properly assessed, or about $90 million worth.
Property owners have until September to further protest by arbitration, District Court, or the State Board of Assessment Appeals.
The assessor’s office arrived at the 2009 valuations based upon market activity that took place throughout the county from January 2007 to June of 2008.
In the industrial category, valuations from 2008 to 2009 increased 80.5 percent. Most of that value is attributed to the molybdenum-producing Henderson Mill, and part is due to the pellet-manufacturer Confluence Energy plant in Kremmling. The value of molybdenum factored into valuations is dependent upon worldwide consumption and production, according to Weydert.
“Everything I’m reading is that production should remain constant,” he said.
Valuations are used to set mills to meet budget demands. Each taxing authority will be posting when they will be conducting their budget hearings, which can occur between now and November.
“I believe it’s crucial that people attend budget hearings, because that is where it all begins,” Weydert said.
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.