Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to Division of Property Taxation (Division) employees when engaging with external stakeholders.
Overview: The Division of Property Taxation’s directive is to coordinate and administer the implementation of property tax law throughout Colorado to ensure valuations are uniform and each property class is responsible for only its fair share of the total property tax obligation. This includes granting of exemptions, valuation of public utilities, providing technical assessment assistance, and promoting the equalization of property valuation.
In executing these duties, Division employees are often required to interact with external stakeholders, which include those in government involved in the property tax system, as well as owners of real and personal property and their representatives. The General Assembly has found and declared as follows:
[T]hat section 3 of article X of the state constitution was approved in 1982 by the voters of Colorado in order to ensure the fair and uniform valuation for assessment of real and personal property located in Colorado; that, since the adoption of said constitutional amendment, the property tax system in Colorado has developed into an impersonal system which is more concerned with the mechanisms to levy and collect such property tax than with the fair and courteous treatment of the owners of real and personal property who pay such tax; that the purpose of the property tax system is to raise revenues to be used for purposes which benefit the citizens of Colorado, including such property owners; that property owners accept their civic responsibility to pay their fair share of taxes to be used for such purposes; that all levels of government involved in the property tax system should recognize that they exist to serve their citizens; and that the owners of real and personal property should be accorded the respect and courtesy which they deserve and should be provided such services which are necessary to assist them in complying with the property tax laws of this state.§ 39-1-101.5, C.R.S. (Emphasis added.)
Additionally, duties of the property tax administrator (and Division employees) include:
To assist and cooperate in the administration of all laws concerning the valuing of taxable property, the assessment of same, and the levying of property taxes . § 39-2-109 (1) (b), C.R.S.
In recognition of this declaration and statutory directive, Division employees are expected to provide appropriate services to assist external stakeholders. In addition to abiding by all other applicable state statutes, rules, and policies governing employee ethics and conduct, it is the intent of this policy to provide guidance to employees when engaging with external stakeholders.
Division employees must conduct themselves appropriately under the rule of law as found in the Colorado Constitution Article XXIX; and § 24-18-101, et seq., C.R.S.
It is further required that all Employees follow the code of conduct found in the state of Colorado Employee Handbook, and State Personnel Board Rule 6-1, which requires classified employees to be courteous and impartial in dealing with those served.
Division employees are required to adhere to all Universal Policies that govern state personnel system employees.
Division employees are also governed by the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Code of Conduct.
- Employees are expected to treat all external stakeholders with courtesy and respect.
- Behavior that constitutes sexual harassment or any form of illegal harassment will not be tolerated.
- In the course and scope of employment, engagement with external stakeholders on property tax matters is encouraged. This engagement may be formal or informal, and may include in-office meetings, conferences, as well as off-site meetings (formal or informal). Employees must notify their supervisor in advance of any planned, off-site meeting with an external stakeholder. Meetings taking place in the normal course of business over Zoom, Google Meets, phone, etc., are not considered off-site meetings.
- Although meetings are encouraged, employees should avoid conflicts of interest when interacting with external stakeholders by abiding by all applicable state ethics statutes, rules, and policies, and meet the expectations of state employees outlined in the Colorado Employee Handbook, State Personnel Board Rules, Universal Policies, and the DOLA Code of Conduct. It is expected that any expenses of the employee associated with informal out-of- office external stakeholder meetings, such as coffee or lunch, be paid by the employee. In all cases the employee must adhere to the restrictions outlined in the Gift Ban established by the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission.
Section 39-2-113, C.R.S. authorizes the Administrator to intervene in any case where an issue of statewide assessment policy is raised or an abatement or refund of property taxes is sought. The Administrator may have an interest in pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation, which may be aligned with, or adverse to, certain external stakeholders. There are also many instances where the Division is asked for its interpretation of property tax law when not directly involved in a case. The Division is a resource for all parties with an interest in property tax. When interacting with external stakeholders involved in such litigation, employees should act in a manner consistent with the laws of the state of Colorado and the interests of the Administrator.
Violation of this policy may lead to corrective or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.