Where Does Your Money Go
Property Taxes Provide Essential Services to the Community
It Pays to Own
Achieving the American Dream of home ownership is a great accomplishment. With all the benefits of homeownership, you also have expenses to maintain your home. Above and beyond the mortgage payment, your annual payment of property taxes gives you a true picture of what your home actually costs.
Property tax is a tax that a homeowner pays on the value of a residential home and land. Property taxes are governed by state law but collected by the Arapahoe County Assessor on behalf of various entities to provide services and fund infrastructure improvements in the community that directly benefit you and your family. Colorado law requires all assessors to reappraise all real property including land and improvements every two years during the odd-numbered years.
The Appraisal Process
The Assessor's Value of your Property
Values are most often determined by comparing your property with properties that are similar in location, design, size, age, and amenities within your neighborhood. The value placed on your property for the year 2021 was based on sales between January 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, utilizing the Sales Comparison Approach. The Sales Comparison Approach includes the assessor's evaluation of similar properties to arrive at a value for your property. The sales must have occurred during the 18-month period prior to and including the appraisal date of June 30. If a sufficient number of sales is not available during the 18-month period, the assessor may go back in six-month intervals up to a maximum of five years to collect the required number of sales needed to set values.
The value of your property may change if you:
- Finish new rooms in a basement or attic
- Conduct extensive remodeling or modernization
- Demolish or add a garage, carport, storage shed, or other structures
- Add more square footage
Breaking Down the Tax
Actual versus Assessed Value
The actual value of property is not the taxable value. The taxable value is a percentage of the actual value. The percentage is called an assessment rate and the resulting value is called the assessed value. Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the actual value of the property by the assessment rate and then by the total mill levy. The residential assessment rate is currently 7.15 percent. The assessment rate for all other property types including vacant land is 29 percent.
Actual Value x Assessment Rate x Mill Levy = Taxes
$500,000 x 7.15% x 0.082596 = $2,592.81
What is a Mill?
A mill levy is the tax rate that is applied to the assessed value of a property. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 dollars of assessed value. Mill levies are determined by each individual taxing authority such as the school, county, city, fire, water and sanitation, and recreation districts. A property owner's total mill levy will depend upon the districts in which their property is located. County taxes are levied by the Board of County Commissioners and city taxes are levied by the City Council. Special district taxes are levied by their board of directors, and school taxes are levied by school boards. In addition to each city like Greenwood Village establishing its own mill levy, there are additional mill levies for given districts outlined on your property tax bill.
Sample Property Tax Statement (based on a $500,000 home value)
|Taxing Entity||Tax Levy||Amount||% of Total (approx.)|
|Cherry Creek School District||49.724||$1,777.62||60%|
|South Metro Fire Rescue District||9.250||$330.69|
|Arapahoe Library District||2.932||$207.71|
|City of Greenwood Village||2.932||$104.82|
|Urban Drainage & Flood Control District||0.900||$32.18|
|Castlewood Water & Sanitation District||0.867||$31.00||<1%|
|Urban Drainage & Flood Control District (South Platte)|
Greenwood Village Portion of your Property Tax
Greenwood Village has one of the lowest municipal property tax rates in the metro area.
The Village's mill levy of 2.932 accounts for less than 4% of the average resident's property tax rate. Therefore, per $500,000 home value, the Village receives roughly $105 of the resident's total annual property tax payment.
In addition, the property taxes collected are included in the Village's general fund revenues to provide essential services to residents. From total citywide revenues of almost $55.3 million, the Village receives approximately $4.2 million from all property taxes. Of that amount, 32%, or just over $1.4 million is from residential properties.
When are Property Taxes Due to Arapahoe County?
Property tax bills reflect the taxes due for the preceding year and are mailed after January 1. Tax amounts greater than $25 may be made in one payment by April 30 or in two equal payments. The first half payment is due by the last day of February. The second half payment is due by June 15. If the tax amount is $25 or less, payment is due in full on April 30. If your property taxes are included in your monthly mortgage, your lender will remit payment of your property taxes to Arapahoe County on your behalf.
Notices of valuation are sent to each property owner by May 1 of each year regardless if property taxes are paid through your mortgage payment. The value shown on the notice affects the amount of taxes you pay in January.
Protest and Appeal
If you disagree with the value assigned by the County Assessor, you have the right to file appeals based on an established process to preserve your taxpayer rights. More information on the protest and appeal process can be found on the Arapahoe County Assessors website.
Property Tax Relief
For Senior Citizens and Disabled Veterans
Senior citizens age 65 and older who have lived in their primary residence in Arapahoe County for at least 10 consecutive years may qualify for a reduction in their property tax bill. The exemption must be applied for on or before July 15 of the year for which the exemption is requested. More information can be found on the Arapahoe County Assessors website or by calling their office at 303-864-7777.
Disabled Veterans may also qualify for a property tax reduction on their primary residence. An application must be filed with the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs by July 1 of the year in which the exemption is requested. More information regarding this exemption can be found on the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website or by calling their office at 303-914-5832.
Questions or need assistance?
Contact the Arapahoe County Assessors Office or call them at 303-795-4600.