Assessing Eagle County’s Assessor

by Douglas H. Shulman

Eagle County’s (elected) Assessor Mark Chapin (D) stopped by the local GOP’s monthly meeting this past week, along with Eagle County Treasurer (elected) Karen Sheaffer (R) and former Eagle County Commissioner Johnnette Phillips to talk about our Property Tax Assessments – we all received last week.

Here is the ECT’s report. Photo…(L-R) Bob Foley, Mark Chapin, Kaye Ferry, John Rosenfeld

Mark’s Powerpoint presentation talked about process and the relationship of the Assessors/Treasurers offices.  Mark pointed out that the Assessor’s Office is responsible for the numbers printed on your Property Tax valuation and that the Treasurer’s Office is responsible for the Invoicing and Collections of your annual residential and or commercial property tax bill.

Assessor Chapin’s pitch came across as very helpful – Mark pointed out that he’s elected, and that the folks in this room “are my bosses”.  Mark doesn’t report to the County Commissioners, although the Commissioners control his Office’s Budget…

Mark went on to talk about the many different tools his staff uses to determine property valuations of both residential and commercial property his office values (per state statute) every two years.

Mark stated a “property tax protest – is your right” and encouraged all who felt their valuations are unfair – to file a protest with his office.

KEY POINT:  Per State Statute – Mark’s most recent numbers are based on property values up to June 30th 2010 – any property values (appraisals) more recent than that – would NOT be considered for property valuations – in any protest filed with his office.

Mark admitted that he and the consensus of local real estate professionals he spoke to believe that (in general/over all) Eagle County property values are still declining – although not at the same rate (read: speed of decline) that they were over the last 18-24 months…

The Bad News – Mill Levy’s

Obviously, if your Property Tax Mill Levy doesn’t change it’s simple to calculate your next Property Tax bill (Spring 2012).

Mark reported that his office “isn’t in charge” of the (too many – Eagle County taxing authorities – that control the Mill Levy’s) printed on your bill.

Worse yet is the fact that the Assessors office “doesn’t Police” those Mill Levy numbers.  Who does?  Mark said Colorado’s “Division of Local Governments” – although after visiting that web site the ECT folks could find no specific numbers about any of Eagle County’s’ Mill Levy’s.  No response yet from the emails the ECT sent DoLG.

No information on DoLG’s web site about which (any?) County Taxing Authorities have “de-bruced” indicating that Authority (may?) have the legal right to increase your Mill Levy “without a vote of the people”…as required by TABOR.

Mark said his office ‘just accepts’ the Mill Levy numbers given to his office from those County Taxing authorities.  Mark admitted that his office makes a ‘cursory review’ of those numbers to make sure there is no gross increases from the previous Mill Levy…but there is no “policing’ of the Mill Levy numbers taking place in his office.  Yikes!

When asked how does a reasonable taxpayer protect him/herself from a taxing authority that just increases their Mill Levy (because they want to?)…Mark didn’t have a good answer other than contact that taxing authority and the so called “Division of Local Governments”.

Mark chuckled when he and his Office was publically accused of being “the only part of Eagle County’s Government” – responsible for “actually creating new private sector jobs”.

For a list of those new Jobs being created in Eagle County today – you should contact –

– Woodland & Associates, LLC – W 376.4362 (Eagle)  Handling Residential and Commercial Property Tax Protests

Mauriello Planning Group W 376.3318 (Avon) Handling Residential Property Tax Protests

EagleCountyTaxAppeal.Com – Roger Pack W 926.1131 (Edwards) Handling Residential Property Tax Protests

Stoval-Hutchison – Tracy Kinsella (a.k.a. the Blonde Barrister) W 688.4438 (Edwards)

Your Property Tax Protest must be filed with the County’s Office of the Assessor – no later than Tuesday, May 31st 2011


15 responses

  1. “de-bruced”?

    Do you mean this guy, who was just recently indicted?

    How did we get here? Watch, “Inside Job”. It’s on iTunes. Nothing out there even comes close, to telling the real story.

    Meanwhile, the Republicans in the House are doing all they can to dismantle Dodd – Frank, which admittedly isn’t very strong to begin with. But at least it has some checks and balances in it.

    Remember, folks, Gramm-Leach-Bliley was sponsored by not 1, not 2, but 3 Republicans. “Among other things, it repealed part of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933, opening up the market among banking companies, securities companies and insurance companies. The Glass–Steagall Act prohibited any one institution from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company”.

    The great recession, folks, is what happens when there’s no regulations.

    Oh Democrats are to blame, too. But if you go back and look at all the facts, starting with watching “Inside Job”, Republicans make up the majority of the bad guys.

    The other day I had a chat with a blue collar guy with some anti-Obama stickers on his truck. His son has disabilities. His son takes part, and is benefitting from, Early Childhood Programs up here. When I pointed out that Republicans were/are lock-step against Early Childhood, he paused. You could see the conundrum he was in. It sunk in that the party he so believes in, would deny his son benefits. You could also see the hypocrisy in his values. Because on one hand, he votes Republican. But on the other hand, he takes advantage of social programs — that he votes against.

    Give the Republicans credit for being masters at manipulation. Because they’ve convinced average Americans like this fellow, that they’re on their side – when in fact they’re not.

    Finally, a single payer system is about to hit Vermont. All put together by Democrats. Let the results speak for themselves.

    • We’ll have to see, won’t we.

      Last time ECT checked the legal process was “innocent till proven guilty”.
      Are local leftists interested in changing that?

      What the ECT does know about DB is that he is/was directly responsible for helping to keep your Colorado taxes as low as possible and helped to defend your rights against greedy, big government.

    • Your Comment: “Finally, a single payer system is about to hit Vermont. All put together by Democrats. Let the results speak for themselves.”

      OK, let’s all hope it works better than the bankrupt system in place in Massachusets today. Put together by the democratically controlled State legislature…and signed into law (no doubt you remember) by Gov. Mitt Romney…

  2. Pingback: nuclear war 2011

  3. Bruce has subjected to intense scrutiny by those who wish to see him publicly hung out to dry.

    They want him silensed and out of the way, for he speaks ‘For The People’- the taxpayers who fund the government.

    The following folks are of course corrupt and speak for the Elite who grease their palms.

    Read on:

    First-Colorado law requires elected officials to disclose all noncash gifts in excess of $50 –

    According to the Adams County elections office and the Colorado secretary of state’s office, Adams County Assessor Gil Reyes reported no gifts in the past three years.

    Reyes accepted Colorado Rockies and Avalanche tickets and lunch invitations from the vice president of a company that won reductions (due to his assistance) totaling $23 million.

    Several leading contributors to Reyes’ assessor campaigns had received tax refunds, agricultural land exemptions or no changes in the taxable values of their properties for as long as eight years.

    The state Division of Property Taxation is now investigating Adams County assessments.

    Reyes also said he never knew the warehouse developer was a major (campaign) contributor, explaining that “my treasurer, who’s my girlfriend, does this.”

    And so on. Full article here
    Adams County Commissioner Alice Nichol (D)

    Adams County sheriff’s investigators first began looking into Nichol’s ties to Quality Paving after The Denver Post discovered the company had done a $10,000 paving job at her home just after its then-president, Rhea, had cast the deciding vote to give the commissioner’s son-in-law a high-paying Adams County job.

    Nichol had never disclosed to investigators that the company did work at her home

    After questions from The Post, Nichol acknowledged the paving job at her home and said her husband, former county Commissioner Ron Nichol, arranged for the work and paid for it.

    In a separate interview, Ron Nichol provided a photocopy of a $10,000cq check made out to Quality Paving — money he said he paid the company even after an employee offered to do the job for free.

    And she defended the county’s purchase of her mother’s home for a road-widening project. (That was also a real ‘iffy’ deal on what her mother was paid, and for what buildings etc)

    More here

    And so on…. (and there are more, these are the current on-going two…)

  4. just FYI
    #1 According to Zillow, 28.4 percent of all single-family homes with a mortgage in the United States are now underwater.

    #2 Zillow has also announced that the average price of a home in the U.S. is about 8 percent lower than it was a year ago and that it continues to fall about 1 percent a month.

    #3 U.S. home prices have now fallen a whopping 33% from where they were at during the peak of the housing bubble.

    #4 During the first quarter of 2011, home values declined at the fastest ratesince late 2008.

    #5 According to Zillow, more than 55 percent of all single-family homes with a mortgage in Atlanta have negative equity and more than 68 percent of all single-family homes with a mortgage in Phoenix have negative equity.

    #6 U.S. home values have fallen an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars since the housing crisis first began.

    #7 In February, U.S. housing starts experienced their largest decline in 27 years.

    #8 New home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.

    #9 Historically, the percentage of residential mortgages in foreclosure in the United States has tended to hover between 1 and 1.5 percent. Today, it is up around 4.5 percent.

    #10 According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings in the United States are projected to increase by another 20 percent in 2011.

    #11 It is estimated that 25% of all mortgages in Miami-Dade County are “in serious distress and headed for either foreclosure or short sale“.

    #12 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was being foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made a mortgage payment in 17 months.

    #13 Sales of foreclosed homes now represent an all-time record 23.7% of the market.

    #14 4.5 million home loans are now either in some stage of foreclosure or are at least 90 days delinquent.

    #15 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are currently at least one month behind on their mortgage payments.

    #16 In September 2008, 33 percent of Americans knew someone who had been foreclosed upon or who was facing the threat of foreclosure. Today that number has risen to 48 percent.

    #17 During the first quarter of 2011, less new homes were sold in the U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded.

    #18 According to a recent census report, 13% of all homes in the United Statesare currently sitting empty.

    #19 In 1996, 89 percent of Americans believed that it was better to own a home than to rent one. Today that number has fallen to 63 percent.

    #20 According to Zillow, the United States has been in a “housing recession” for57 straight months without an end in sight.

    So should we be confident that the folks in charge are doing everything that they can to turn all of this around?

    Sadly, the truth is that our “authorities” really do not know what they are doing. The following is what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had to say about the housing market back in 2006….

    “Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.”

    • Ron Paul?

      May you never have to rely on government services or have children with disabilities. Because Ron Paul doesn’t believe in government services. He, just like the rest of the Republicans, believes that if you have troubles, tough it out — “You’re on your own”.

      Try telling “tough it out” to a young, middle class family with a disabled child. Who’s insurance company cancelled them and who can’t get insurance, because their child has a disability.

      With comments like this, you obviously are extremely wealthy and can buy your way out of any problem. Good for you. If so, then that makes you one of those “Elite” folks everyone around here seems to be against. Sure you got the right Blog?

      But believe it or not, people need help. Meet me at Brush Creek Elementary, I’ll show you a room full of kids who need help. Some of them, are your neighbors. Do your neighbors know you’re rooting against them? Because if you vote for Ron Paul, you’re rooting against anyone who needs assistance, or who’s child has a disability.

  5. May you never have to rely on government services or have children with disabilities. Because Ron Paul will deny you and your children services.

    Or maybe you’re so wealthy, that you can buy anything you need? If so, then aren’t you one of those…”Elitists”? I thought this site frowned on them?

  6. The right is taking their playbook from the Red Army.
    Early mass rallies
    On May 25, a young philosophy lecturer at Peking University, Nie Yuanzi, wrote a big-character poster and taped it onto a public bulletin. Nie attacked the university party administration and cadres from Beijing party authorities as “black anti-Party gangsters,” implying that there were forces at work in government and at the university who wished to betray the progress of the revolution. Several days later, Mao ordered Nie’s message to be broadcast nationwide and called it “the first Marxist big-character poster in China.” On May 29, at the High School attached to Tsinghua University, the first organization of Red Guards was formed with the aim of punishing and neutralising both intellectuals and Mao’s political enemies.[citation needed]

    Because, the right continues to frame up anyone with a brain as the “Elite”, or as “Elitists”, which is right out of the playbook of Chairman Mao.

    Mao sought to imprison and kill “Intellectuals”; doctors, lawyers, engineers, artists. You guys want to wipe out the Elite, which is the word you use for anyone who disagrees with you. “Intellectuals”, “Elitists”. What’s the diff?

    You guys claim to be about the constitution, it’s all a scam. America is about freedom of religion, freedom of thought. Yet anyone who disagrees with you should be locked up — “Get the Elite”!!! So instead of simply having polite, political discourse, once again, what the country was founded on, you want to call us “The Elite” — pit neighbors against each other.

    Most of you still don’t believe our President was born here, for crissake.

    I got news for you. You’re not gaining influence and your plan is backfiring. More and more Americans see your message as thuggery.

    You might as well just change your message to what you really think, which is, “He’s Black. We hate that”. And, “We hate anyone who disagrees with us”. At least this way you’d get credit for being truthful.

  7. Um BlueBayou …. “children with disabilities” and so one must vote higher and higher taxes?

    * One, WOW BlueBayou—using innocent children as political pawns is wrong, wrong wrong BB. MOST especially WRONG when you use these children to justify forced taxation which is legalized theft. SHAME on you.

    And BlueBayou “rely on government services” and if we vote for Ron Paul, we’re rooting against anyone who needs assistance?

    * Two, I don’t begrudge assistance-I figure three months of food, and housing is sufficient for someone to decide cleaning toilets or cutting grass or picking lettuce sounds like a good job when they need work – and offer no more than 3 months aid at all- if welfare services is what you mean.

    Otherwise, if you mean building wheelchair access ramps at school and providing allowances for an aid dog or parent to accompany their child at school is what you mean, well of course do that but that is all.

    If you mean taxpayers must fund (through forced taxation aka legalized theft) aides for cognitive children who are alcohol syndrome or drug addicted babies now larger aggressive children-no. Not as long as they still reside with the birth mother.

    For that matter-if parents do not feed their child, or give them shelter, don’t pay the parent, place the child elsewhere.

    If we enforced this teen mom’s and illegals here would not be having so many babies they do not pay for but should pay for, it is their child, not society’s and not governments.

    The other option is also to place for adoption with people who DO care and who will lovingly provide for the child, but won’t happen if taxpayers are forced to pay each month.

    Being a parent is a huge lifelong responsibility-but decidedly it is not Taxpayers nor the Governments responsibility–it is the parents. You will notice BB, many people chose to have no children for exactly that reason.

    • We have a handicapped child. So please don’t accuse me of pandering our child.

      If you’re not willing to provide assistance for children, how will the child assimilate into society?

      What if it’s all the parent can do to keep their head above water? What if they can’t afford insurance, can’t afford PT, speech, physical, or other therapy? What do you propose becomes of this child?

      Maybe it’s your side who’s all about “death panels”?

      You’ve made a sincere attempt to be polite, I’ll do the same. But your ideology looks no further than the end of your nose. I’m sorry, that’s just how it is.

      If you did your homework, you’d learn that investing in vital services such as early childhood and special education pay huge dividends. Because, the child can grow up and live on their own — sans services. Don’t believe me? What’s your address, I’ll send you books of studies that have been done. The idea that handicapped kids ride on the short bus — didn’t work then, it don’t work now. Instead, what works, is for the child to be in with normal kids. Because, the handicapped watches the children and they learn. And, the other children learn patience and tolerance — two words your party doesn’t understand. More on that in a minute.

      The child can grow up and be an income source, instead of an expense. Those are the facts, jack.

      I’m not going to argue with you. I live it, you don’t.

      Then, to slide off on the argument of “We don’t have kids and if you have them, tough, that’s your problem”. Sorry that’s just so, not America. Or maybe it’s your America? If so, then you need a history lesson, go read the Statue of Liberty.

      But wait. You’re a Republican, right? You’re against abortion then, right? Right. If you don’t want to pay for handicapped kids, then get out of the way of abortions. Pick one, you can’t have both.

      You’re telling me, “I don’t want to pay for your problems”, right? Right. Your argument is subjective.

      Because, do some of the taxes you pay cover, uh, paving the streets that others drive on? Yep. But wait. You just said, “I don’t want to pay for your problems”. So how come you’re not complaining about about driving on paved roads, then? Do you ever take the bus? You sound like a rich guy, maybe you own the bus? Well, do you complain about public transit? How about the police department? Some of your money goes there, too.

      So your ideology of, “You’re on your own”, it’s a social agenda. Rephrased it’s, “I’m doing fine, screw you”.

      What about the old ideal of “America, the land of opportunity”? It doesn’t say, “The land of opportunity if you’re born right, everything goes right, don’t need any help”.

      What about the SBA? Want to get rid of that, too? Eh, dude. 90% of all business is small business.

      What about what the ##$%^ing GOP was founded on, which is (here I go, reminding you about your party), “freedom and equality for all men”?

      You want to pick and choose, based on your own, twisted belief system. You want to change the rules, re-write what American stands for.

      • One more thing.

        When I make the money you do, I’ll be happy to send a check to Brush Creek. I got no problem with giving back.

        I know you want to keep all your money, right? But wait. I thought Republican thought process was that as the rich guys like you get richer, the money makes it way back into the economy? But you seem selfish. You don’t like the thought of helping others. So what? You just put all your money under the mattress? You and Ebenezer, aye dude?

        So in order to get there, to make the money you do, maybe I need an SBA loan to get me through. Or maybe I need a Line of Credit from the bank. SBA loans, lines of credit, the government can help with that — it’s what they do.

        So if the government invests (I know you hate that word) in programs to fund small business, that money will make its way back into the system. I’m going to write checks to the school, I’m going to send the government tax revenue.

        Government services are vital to our country. When the government invests, it gets it back and profits.

  8. No personal attacks here.. just saying that if one makes a choice to have a baby, one has made that choice and with that choice comes good, and for sure– dollar and time costs! Many costs!

    Taxpayers should not bear the personal responsibilities that comes with a adult old enough to produce a baby ie, parenthood.

    We do right now- but we should not.

    It is now approaching unsustainable.

    As for this “What if it’s all the parent can do to keep their head above water? What if they can’t afford insurance, can’t afford PT, speech, physical, or other therapy?”— like I said, I am all for aiding–you give a person three months-they can feed themselves and care for their own children by then-for sure they can. if they don’t, REMOVE the child from the home as they are being neglected. Do that a few times and the welfare demands would stop.

    It used to be one had to keep six months worth of expenses as cash on hand in the bank-they now recommend 9 to 12 months.

    Before having children, better save money.

    But today there is no reason to bother saving any money before having children – taxpayers (are forced to) step in with, WIC, Food stamps, Social Security disability for the young, subsided home heat, electricity, free cells phones for the family ‘free’ health care, ‘free’ dental, free school food, free supplies, including clothing, school supplies, and vision care. Sorry but that goes with the decision to have a child. Nothing is truly free, and taxpayers are vanishing– we are fast-tracking to being a Socialist country where government controls everything including YOUR child, the rich of course stay rich, and the middle class is now poor in actuality.

    I owe nothing at all. For me, I earned my money and I paid my bills, I am not rich, and I pay for roads and preK (prechool?) through 12th grade public education-even though I didn’t use it. That’s all I owe and I currently pay it too.

    I do wonder though-what did the American people do thirty years ago? Oh right I remember—they assumed personal responsibility for their obligations they chose to take on.

    Life is about choices–and the American way (used to) be about dealing with ones own obligations. Not any more though and the result is—today’s horrendous forced taxes.

  9. see? NOW we are talking!

    Jefferson County schools will have bus fees next year

    -Parents of students in Jefferson County Schools will fork over $100 next year for kids to ride the bus to neighborhood schools, or $150 to get to option schools.

    Full story here

    Taxpayers supplied the buses, which include handicapped, parents pay for the right to board those buses which are available via tax dollars. As it should be….

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