Vacant land in Colorado is assessed and taxed at four times the rate of residential land. However, if a vacant parcel is a part of a multi-parcel residential assemblage, then the vacant parcel should be taxed at the same low rate as the other parcels within the assemblage.
Previously, the assessors in many counties were improperly denying residential treatment for vacant parcels within residential assemblages–subjecting the vacant parcels to excessive property tax liability.
Duff & Phelps identified this widespread problem, and with the help of litigation attorney Britt Clayton, we took this issue to the Colorado Supreme Court. On February 18, 2020, the Court handed down a decision in Summit County vs. Hogan, which mandates that county assessors acknowledge and respect the taxpayers’ residential uses of vacant parcels that are part of residential assemblages.
According to the taxpayers’ attorney Clayton, “Thanks to the initiative and persistence of the Duff & Phelps team, thousands of residential taxpayers who have multi-parcel assemblages will see significant reductions in their property tax bills going forward. This case demonstrates that it is possible to ‘fight city hall’ and achieve victory in the courts when government agencies are overstepping their bounds.”
Moving forward, county assessors must recognize the varying “uses” of property by homeowners when deciding the classification of vacant parcels contiguous to their residence. Although we expect many assessors to adjust the classification beginning with tax year 2020, you will not receive the benefit for prior years unless action is taken to correct the classification and the resulting excessive liability erroneously assessed in the past. If the above pertains to you, allow Duff & Phelps to represent you in ensuring that your refund is obtained, accurately calculated, and expediently processed.
Key Elements of Duff & Phelps Appeal Services Include
- Our fees are contingent upon successful execution and receipt of a refund on your behalf.
- Our team has rich and nuanced understanding of the procedure required to determine a lower assessment rate applicable to vacant land in common ownership and contiguous with residential property.
- We have a proven track record of filing proper documentation on time and in compliance with each Colorado county’s various appeal parameters.
- Our experts have forthright access to county representatives accountable for assigning the assessment rate of vacant land for each county.
- We can help secure a refund available for most taxpayers for excessive taxes paid in 2019 and 2020.