WHAT IS A PROTEST?
A protest is an opportunity to prove that your property’s estimated value is either inaccurate or unfair through the Assessor’s Office. The Douglas County Assessor provides several options to appeal property value, but a Protest may only be filed from May 1 to June 1 each year (see Protest/Appeals Calendar). Reasons for a protest might include:
- Items that affect value are incorrect on your property record. You have an unfinished basement, not finished. You have a carport, not a garage. Your home has 1,600, not 2,000 square feet.
- The estimated market value is too high. You have evidence that similar properties have sold for less than the estimated market value of your property.
- If the assessor’s record of acreage or square footage of land is incorrect, a protest should be filed.
Employees of the Assessor’s office have been trained to be polite and helpful. They will do anything within their means to help you get the information you need for a protest. Please view them as an ally, not an adversary.
If you think your value is correct, but your taxes are too high, this is an issue you must take up with the officials who determine budgets for each taxing authority. Taxes can not be protested through the Assessor’s office.
STEP-BY-STEP PROTEST PROCEDURES
Prepare. Find your property identification number on your assessment notice. Use this number to view or obtain a copy of your property record from the Assessor’s Office. The information on all real property is also available on this website through the search function.
Review the facts on the property record. Is the architectural style correctly stated? If not a recent photo of your home will help correct the information. Check the living area of your home, the size of your lot, the presence or absence of a garage or finished basement, the construction materials, the condition and so on.
Review sales information for your specific neighborhood by accessing “View Neighborhood Sales” from your Parcel Details page. Results of this search will provide verified sales in the subject property neighborhood filtered to fall within the study period. You may also review the entire sales database on this website.
Use the addresses of comparable properties to review their property record forms, which will include actual values. Compare the features of these properties to the features of yours. If there are differences, the values of the properties may be different.
If you are protesting the value of your business personal property, please see the information on Personal Property Protests below for applicable dates.
- For more information view the Protest/Appeals Calendar
METHODS OF PROTEST
Online protests will be accepted through midnight on June 1. To preserve your right, your online protest must be time-stamped before midnight on that date. If you choose to file an online protest, you may connect through this link Online Protest.
If you choose to mail a written protest, you may elect to complete the protest form located on the Notice of Valuation. To preserve the right to protest, the real property protest must be postmarked not later than June 1. If June 1 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the protest is deemed to have been timely if postmarked on the next business day. If you don’t have a Notice of Value, an appeal form may be accessed by clicking this link Appeal Form
A written protest may also be faxed to our office. Use the protest form located on your Notice of Valuation, complete, sign and fax to 303-479-9751. To preserve your right to protest, your faxed protest must be received in our office no later than midnight on June 1. If you are faxing your protest on June 1, be sure to allow enough time in the event that others are also faxing their protests at the last minute. We will not accept any protest time-stamped after midnight on that date. If you don’t have a Notice of Value, an appeal form may be accessed by clicking this link Appeal Form.
If you wish to protest in person appointments can be scheduled by accessing our Protest Calendar or by calling the Assessor’s office at 303-660-7450 to set an appointment. While we make every effort to accommodate walk-in appointments, we have a limited staff and cannot guarantee that an appraiser will be able to see you quickly without an appointment. We recommend that you make your appointment early in the protest period to avoid crowds at the end of the month. Written protests may be presented in person no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 1. If you don’t have a Notice of Value, an appeal form may be accessed by clicking this link Appeal Form.
The appraiser conducting your meeting will review your property record with you, and will accept any information you have gathered. The appraiser will not commit to a change in value at this meeting, even though you may have uncovered an error or the assessment appears to be inequitable.
For more information view the Protest/Appeals Calendar
PERSONAL PROPERTY PROTESTS
Personal property Notices of Valuation are mailed no later than June 15. The Assessor conducts hearings on personal property valuation protests beginning June 15 and continuing through June 30. Protest procedures are identical to procedures for real property protests, although the dates are different. Written personal property protests must be postmarked on or before June 30. Hand delivered written protests will be accepted through 5 p.m., June 30 and faxed personal property protests will be accepted if date-stamped before midnight June 30.
The Assessor must make a decision and mail a Notice of Determination (NOD) to you before the last regular working day in August (the last working day in June during non-reappraisal years).
APPEALING THE ASSESSOR’S DECISION
If you disagree with the Assessor’s determination, you can file a written appeal with the County Board of Equalization (CBOE) on or before September 15 (during non-reappraisal years the deadline is July 15) for real or personal property. The CBOE schedules and completes their hearings before November 1 (August 5 in non-reappraisal years). The board must notify you in writing within five business days after their decision is made.
If you are satisfied with the CBOE decision, the process ends there.
If not there are three options:
- Go to binding Arbitration,
- Appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA), or
- Go to District Court
You must appeal within 30 days of the CBOE decision.
If you choose Arbitration after the CBOE decision, the decision reached at Arbitration is final and not subject to review.
If you are satisfied with the decision rendered by either the BAA or District Court, the process ends there. If, however, the decision rendered by either the BAA or District Court is unsatisfactory, you may then appeal to the Court of Appeals within 30 days of the BAA decision or 45 days of a District Court decision. The only appeal beyond that is to the Colorado Supreme Court.
For more information view the Protest/Appeals Calendar