Posts tagged boulder co
Property tax notices to be mailed
Boulder County, Colo. – Tax notices will be mailed to 122,045 taxpayers this upcoming week, according to Bob Hullinghorst, Boulder County Treasurer. The taxes collected this year will exceed $485 million, up from $462 million in 2011 or 4.7 percent, to help pay for schools, roads, public safety and other expenses for 135 taxing authorities.
Homeowners are 79 percent of the taxpayers in the county, but under the “Gallagher Amendment,” they pay only 51 percent of the tax bill, with businesses required to pay the remainder. Personal property taxes are also collected from 5,737 businesses, utilities and energy companies on the equipment they own or lease.
Taxpayers without mortgage escrow accounts may choose to make two payments, starting Feb. 29, or a single payment on April 30. Under Colorado law, taxpayers who are late must be charged 1 percent per month as interest to cover extra processing, not as a penalty. Taxes postmarked before the deadlines will not be charged interest.
Payments may also be made in person at the Boulder County Courthouse from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Treasurer has two collection locations for taxpayers who bring their coupons and pay by check (no cash) at the Longmont Senior Center, 910 Longs Peak Ave. or the Louisville Recreation Center, 910 Via Appia from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 24 and 27-29, April 25-27 and 30, and June 12-15. The Treasurer’s regular branch offices will also be open in Longmont every Monday and in Lafayette every Tuesday.
Electronic checks and credit card payments may only be made on the web at www.bouldercounty.org/treasurer or by calling 800-272-9829. E-checks are still being accepted at no charge, but the company processing credit card payments is charging 2.5 percent, or $50 for a $2,000 tax bill.
Any taxpayer who does not get a notice by Feb. 1 should call the Treasurer’s Office at 303-441-3520, as Colorado law states failure to receive a notice is no excuse for not paying taxes when they are due. “We do our best to get each notice delivered to the right address, but with moves, sales and refinances all impacting addresses, we get about 1.5 percent of our notices returned as undeliverable,” Hullinghorst said.
Hullinghorst commented that getting the notices out this year was a minor miracle, as the Boulder County Assessor delivered tax data to the Treasurer from new software that had never produced a tested tax roll. Hullinghorst complimented the staff of the Assessor’s Office, especially Deputy Assessor Cindy Braddock, and their software contractor, Bill Witham, an ex-marine with Manatron. Hullinghorst also recognized key Treasurer’s staff, especially Lola Nelson and Alycia Allshouse.
“Taxpayers may be like students wishing for a snow day,” said Hullinghorst. “But if I had to delay our notices by two weeks, it would have cost thousands more and delayed major distributions of needed revenue to many governments. Our printer and mail contractor, Output Services Inc. of Boulder, bent over backwards to help us meet our deadline.”
Through all the ups and downs the housing market has been going through, one key issue is holding the market back from growing. The market IS seeing lots of improvement from a year ago but that is just from housing activity and not the facts. The activity in the market has been growing over the past year but the facts of the matter is that, nationally, we are not improving when it comes to home appraisals and valuation. Home appraisals are the staple to the healthy economy and because of the past few years of poor valuation we are seeing the effects today…Here is why:
Before the housing bust, home appraisals were getting out of hand, making higher valuations than the property was worth. This market characteristic contributed heavily to the housing bust, homes were jumping up 10-16% a year, when on an average year home values are to appreciate between 2-4%. This spike in home values lead to the crash and the appraised values plummeted and over the past 3 years we have seen large de-valuation of homes where they were highly valued.
The home appraisals of today are the effects of the high appraisals and the low home values of the past 3 years. What is happening today is that home valuations are turning up lower than the REAL value of the home. What I mean by REAL value of the home, is that a home may actually be worth $500,000 BUT because of the low appraisals of the past few years, the home that has a REAL value of $500,000 will end up being appraised at a lower value because the appraiser does not have comparable homes to compare it to. And if the appraiser does have homes to appraise it to, they are at a lower price because of the housing bubble bust and the home values of comparables that have sold recently are at a lower price, therefore, causing the home with the REAL value of $500,000 to be valued below its worth at say $450,000.
Now you may be thinking, ok, its valued at $450,000 but im going to put it on the market for the $500,000 because that the real price it should be appraised at. The problem here is 99 out of 100 times a buyer will want to see the most recent home appraisal and if the appraisal says the home is worth $450,000 and not $500,000 (as listed) the buyer will not be willing to go above $450,000 on the home and will end up buying a house down the street and leaving yours on the market for a long long time.
This is a very interesting subject to keep track of, because until home appraisers can figure out a better system to appraise homes, we may be stuck in this downward appraisal turmoil for a long time. The appraisal system has the power to turn the housing market around and bring things back to normal.
I’d love to hear some comments on home owners/ home buyers/ home sellers, and what you think about all of this.
Bill Allen is a Realtor in Boulder and works at Remax of Boulder