CTS Investments, LLC v. Garfield County Board of Equalization and Board of Assessment Appeals, 2013COA30 (March 14, 2013)

“Society doesn’t have values. People have values.” Milton Friedman. And property values are decided by people – specifically, assessors. One property (P1) could be valued less if the sale of another (P2) was considered. Assessor excluded the sale of P2, valuing P1 higher, concluding P2 was sold at a discount because the seller was compelled by economic duress, as reported in the news, and the sale was not “arms-length.” P1’s owner objected to the use of the reports and the conclusion that the P2 sale was not “arms-length.” The court of appeals held the reports, though hearsay, were admissible because a prudent person could rely on them. Sales under duress are typically excluded in valuations. The court, relying on the ALR, determined that “duress” means a seller not typically motivated, as was the circumstance with P2. Thus, the P2 sale was not arms-length and P1 was properly valued.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion/2012/12CA0677-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8866&courtid=1

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