The results are in — the County Board of Equalization results, that is.
The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners accepted the recommendations of independent referees at a Nov. 19 meeting that followed weeks of CBOE hearings.
The outcomes of the hearings mean over $888,717 less in assessed values for the county, according to Keren Prior, Archuleta County assessor.
Out of the estimated 20,000 parcel assessments, 3,149 were appealed initially, including real property (land and anything permanently affixed to it) and personal property (tangible and intangible property that can be moved or sold separately), Prior said.
Prior estimated her office saw about 2,500 appeals following the last assessment.
“It’s up a little bit, but the whole Western Slope is up a considerable number,” she said, citing Hinsdale County as an example. She said that county, which has about 1,500 parcels, saw roughly 500 protests.
“Every county on the Western Slope got inundated with protests and appeals.”
Of the 3,149 appeals this year, Prior said 435 had hearings with the CBOE referees — board changes were made to 123, 194 were denied and 118 were satisfied or stipulated, she said.
Notices of property assessment values are normally sent out in May, but, due to a change in computer programs, they were sent out in June this year.
Petitioners then had 30 days to protest or appeal disagreeable values, and the assessor’s office had another month to respond to the protests and appeals.
“At that time, we look at them and make a determination whether we agree with them, we don’t agree with them or, if we find there’s an error, we change it — or if there’s something else, we go out and remeasure or look at what they don’t feel is the same,” said Prior, adding her office had a month to do so following the initial appeal (normally June).
A notice of determination is then sent out, after which petitioners can appeal to the CBOE and set up a hearing, where both the petitioner and the Assessor’s Office present their case.
Prior noted that the assessor’s office was defending mass appraisal value for property, versus individual values.
The BoCC elected independent referees to sit in their place at the hearings, which began Sept. 29.
If petitioners are unhappy with the outcome of their CBOE hearing, Prior explained that they have three choices — binding arbitration, a court of appeals, or a board of assessment and appeal.
The time limit to appeal through one of the three methods has not yet expired.