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Posted on: December 21, 2023

Commissioners Discuss Relief Programs to Offset Property Tax Increases

Last week, Lake County Commissioners discussed how the increased valuation of properties could negatively impact vulnerable residents, including homeowners on fixed incomes, and renters who may pay more if landlords pass along their property tax increases. The discussion followed the 11/20/23 passage of a tax relief bill by the Colorado General Assembly which lowers property tax assessment rates for single and multifamily residential homes from 6.765 percent to 6.7 percent after the first $55,000 of value of the home for the 2023 tax year.  

The State mandate also extends the deadline for County Assessors to recalculate the value of local mills with the new assessment rates, and the deadline for the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to approve the 2024 budget, and adjust or approve the mill levy rates to ensure a balanced budget.  The state did not change the deadlines for Property Tax Payments. Notices will be sent to property owners in early February. 







 






Former Deadline 






New Deadline 






Certification of Values from Assessor to local governments 





12/10/2023 





1/03/2024 






Local governments submit levies to Commissioners 





12/15/2023 





1/10/2024 






Commissioners certify levies 





12/22/2023 





1/17/2024 






Tax Roll delivered to Treasurer 





1/10/2024 





1/24/2024 






Tax Notices sent to Property Owners 





 





2/1/2024 






Whole Payment due from Property Owners 





 





4/30/2024 






    Or First ½ of payment due from Property Owners 





 





2/29/2024 






    Second ½ of payment due from Property Owners 

 





 





6/17/2024  

 

Commissioners crafted this joint statement: “While the BOCC agrees with the intent of the recent State changes to property tax calculation, the one-size-fits-all approach unilaterally imposed on Counties does not sufficiently address the property tax impact on Lake County residents. Reducing the mill levy alone, as advocated by Governor Polis, also deprives local governments of their autonomy in matching revenues to programs and services supported by the County. The BOCC are working to strike a balance between offering relief to the most vulnerable in our community, while allowing us sufficient resources to meet our goals like: addressing deferred maintenance of County facilities, community justice programs, stimulation of economic development, and the building and preservation of affordable housing.”  

The County is only one of many taxing entities who utilize property taxes to fund public services. (Others include the hospital, and school district, for example.) Therefore, the impact of the BOCC lowering their mill or programming / service levels is only one piece of the puzzle. Other regional taxing districts now have until January 10th to submit their mill levies to the County. 

As for the BOCC, they will use the next month to explore additional options for tax relief, and complimentary initiatives to mitigate cost of living for residents, including:  

Infusing county offices, local nonprofits, or partner organizations with funding for housing assistance programs that would allow those with increasing rental rates and mortgage rates along with demonstrated financial need, to apply for assistance in housing related expenses for a set number of months;  

  • Adjustment to the mill levy rate (the amount of tax payable per dollar of assessed property value) so that all taxpayers (regardless of need) would see a reduction in their property tax rates. 
  • Promotion of existing tax relief programs such as Senior and Veteran exemptions, and the State Tax Deferral Program. 
  • Long term advocacy to the Property Tax Task Force, to provide long term policy solutions to meet the individual needs of our County. 
  • Continued investment and development in the new Regional Housing Authority at the County which seeks to preserve and build affordable housing for our community. 

The commissioners will continue their discussions on property tax relief through January 9th when they will meet in a Special Meeting at 10:00 a.m. to finalize and adopt a 2024 budget. 


 

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