Under the general laws of Colorado, the Property Tax Administrator heads the Division of Property Taxation.
The Division’s charge is to coordinate and administer the implementation of property tax law throughout the sixty-four counties of Colorado to ensure that valuations are uniform and that each property class is responsible for only its fair share of the total property tax obligation. This includes the granting of exemptions, valuation of public utilities for ad valorem taxation, providing technical assessment assistance, and promoting the equalization of property valuation.
To fulfill these responsibilities, the Division is divided into four sections:
Appraisal Standards Section
Appraisal Standards prepares and publishes appraisal manuals, procedures and instructions. It holds schools and seminars regarding all areas of appraisal. It conducts field studies and provides statewide assistance in agricultural land classification, natural resources and personal property valuation, as well as assistance in the valuation of residential, commercial and industrial properties. The section assists in reappraisal efforts, reviews internal appraisal forms used by assessors, and investigates and responds to taxpayer complaints.
The Appraisal Standards section conducts four tested qualifying education courses to enable assessment appraisers to obtain an Ad Valorem Appraisal License. These classes are: Introduction to Ad Valorem Mass Appraisal, Basic Appraisal Principles, Basic Appraisal Procedures, and Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). This section currently offers five additional tested courses: Valuation of Vacant Land Present Worth, Advanced Income Approach to Value, Agricultural Land and Rural Structural Valuation, Possessory Interest (Distance Education), and Vacant Land (Distance Education). The section also offers several non-tested courses and workshops throughout the year.
Assessment Resources Section
Assessment Resources prepares and publishes administrative manuals, procedures and instructions. It conducts a number of classes and seminars regarding the administrative functions of the assessors’ offices, including one tested course: Introduction to Assessment. It performs field studies and provides statewide assistance with issues such as tax increment financing, the administration and valuation of manufactured homes, senior and disabled veteran exemptions, classification of property, title conveyance, mapping, production of the Abstract of Assessment, certification of values to taxing entities, and the tax warrant. The section also investigates taxpayer complaints. It is responsible for various studies and reports such as fiscal impacts for Legislative Council, the residential assessment rate study and the Property Tax Administrator’s Annual Report to the General Assembly and State Board of Equalization. It also coordinates with agencies having an interest in property taxation. In addition, the field staff works closely with assessors in all areas of property taxation. Assessment Resources is also responsible for approving or disapproving all petitions for refund or abatement of taxes in excess of $10,000.
The Exemptions section is responsible for determining qualification for exemption from property taxation for properties that are owned and used for religious, charitable and private school purposes. This section also reviews reports filed annually by exempt property owners to determine if the property’s exempt status is still warranted. It also provides assistance to counties and taxpayers with inquiries about exempt properties, helps taxpayers with petitions to the State Board of Equalization, conducts hearings on exemption applications and revocations of exemptions, and defends appeals of its final decisions.
State Assessed Section
The State Assessed section is the only area of the Division which regularly performs original valuation of property on an annual basis. The section values all public utilities doing business in Colorado as defined by statute, including rail transportation companies, airlines, non- renewable and renewable energy companies, telephone companies, and pipelines. The company valuations are then apportioned to the counties for collection of local property tax. Both county commissioners and public utilities may protest the value assigned to state assessed property, and may appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA) or Denver District Court if the protest is not resolved at the Division level.
- DPT Process Number 1: Monitor customer satisfaction by developing and conducting a survey of customer satisfaction
- DPT Process Number 2: Employee development
- DPT Process Number 3: Education program for assessment staff
- DPT Process Number 4: Determine qualification for initial and continued property tax exemption for religious, charitable and private school properties
- DPT Process Number 5: Perform property valuation for public utilities as defined by statute, apportion to respective counties as well as defend those values when appealed at the Board of Assessment Appeals or district court