Because of changes in assessment of residential property dictated by the Gallagher Amendment to the Colorado Constitution, Delta County government is expected to receive less revenue from property taxes next year.
Nevertheless, many homeowners will not see any corresponding decrease in next year's tax bills. That is because property values, or the amount of money some buyers are willing to pay for real estate, have been on the rise locally, a fact which negates the decline in assessment rates.
The county's total assessed value following this year's revaluation is $296.6 million, which is almost $16.5 million lower than last year, according to county assessor Debbie Griffith. The lower assessed valuation will result in a $260,000 decrease in property tax revenue to the county, Griffith told the county commissioners on July 3.
Other local government entities besides the county that are funded with property tax could also see varying effects from the change.
The Gallagher Amendment limits the total amount of property tax raised from residential property. Because of sharp increases in the amounts buyers are currently paying for real estate along the Front Range, the assessment rate needs to be lowered to stay within the Gallagher Amendment limit. Therefore, the valuation rate has been lowered, which lowers the amount of revenue received locally where real estate prices have not increased as much as on the Front Range.
In other business at recent meetings, the county commissioners have dealt with the following matters:
• Commissioners approved bills payable of $561,471 between June 10 and June 23.
• Commissioners approved resolutions affecting the addition of two additional members to the county planning commission. The new representatives serve commissioner districts 1 and 2. Another resolution naming the new members was slated for approval at an upcoming meeting.
• County assessor Debbie Griffith reported 376 property valuation protests this year. Also, 133 local businesses failed to submit documentation for personal property tax. They will receive notification and could be subject to penalties.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.