WHAT IS AN ASSESSOR-LEVEL APPEAL?
This appeal (sometimes called a Protest) is an opportunity to prove that your property’s estimated value is inaccurate 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 an appeal. 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 appealed through the Assessor’s office.
STEP-BY-STEP APPEAL PROCEDURES
Prepare. Look up your property on the Assessor’s website. This is easy to do from the Assessor home page.
Review the facts on the property record. 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 quality of construction and so on.
Review sales information for your specific neighborhood by accessing “View Comparable Sales” from your Property Details page, or by clicking here. The 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 with the Advanced Search reporting tool.
The Comparable Sales application helps you review sales and their property characteristics. It is important to compare the features of these properties to yours. If there are differences, the values of the properties may be different.
If you are appealing the value of your business personal property, please see the information on Personal Property Appeals below for applicable dates.
- For more information view the Protest/Appeals Calendar.
METHODS OF ASSESSOR-LEVEL APPEAL
Online appeals will be accepted through midnight on June 1. To preserve your right, your online appeal must be time-stamped before midnight on that date. If you choose to appeal online, you may connect through this link Online Appeals Application.
If you choose to mail a written appeal, you may elect to complete the form located on the Notice of Valuation. To preserve the right of appeal, the written filing must be postmarked no later than June 1. If June 1 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the appeal is deemed to have been timely filed 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.
The Assessor’s Office is closed to in-person transactions, however if you would prefer to drop off your written appeal, a drop box is located immediately west of the Wilcox Administration Building on Jerry Street in Castle Rock. The deadline for dropping off a written filing is June 1 at 5:00 p.m. If you don’t have a Notice of Value, you may download it from the Documents section of the Property Details page for your parcel, or an appeal form may be accessed by clicking this link Appeal Form.
In order to be respectful of the health and well-being of staff and our citizens alike, the Douglas County Assessor’s Office is closed to all in-person transactions. If you wish to meet with an appraiser over the phone please make an appointment using our scheduling application or by calling the Assessor’s office at 303-660-7450.
The appraiser you speak with will review your property record with you, and accept any information you have gathered via email, traditional mail or from the drop box (see above). 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 inaccurate.
For more information view the Protest/Appeals Calendar.
PERSONAL PROPERTY APPEALS
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Executive Orders and State Board of Equalization rules have created significant changes in the valuation and appeals process for Business Personal Property in 2020. Personal property Notices of Valuation will be mailed by August 3, 2020. The Assessor will now conduct hearings on personal property valuation appeals beginning August 3 and continuing through August 20. The procedures are identical to those for real property appeals, although the dates are different. Written personal property appeals must be postmarked on or before August 20. Hand-delivered written filings will be accepted through 5 p.m., August 20.
The Assessor must make a decision and mail a Notice of Determination (NOD) to you before September 16th. This is later than normal because of the emergency rule set forth by the State Board of Equalization in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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 28. The CBOE schedules and completes their hearings before November 1. 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