“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice…” Adam Smith. In 2007, after Assessor valued the Ritz-Carlton’s property in Beaver Creek (Ritz), but before the next assessment, the Ritz turned 50 rooms into condos. The assessor then apportioned the taxes between the Ritz and the condos based on the 2007 value. The Ritz objected, arguing Assessor should have determined its actual value, treating the condos as omitted properties under CRS 39-5-125. Finding the condos were not “omitted,” and because no other statute applied, the court of appeals upheld the apportionment procedure as consistent with the Assessor’s Reference Library (ARL). Last, Constitutional property valuation provisions only apply at the time of assessment, not here, between assessments.
Tag Archives: Assessment
Bachelor Gulch Operating Company, LLC v. Board of County Commissioners of Eagle County, and Board of Assessment Appeals, 2013COA46 (March 28, 2013)
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.
Vista Ridge Master Homeowners Association, Inc., v. Arcadia Holdings at Vista Ridge, LLC, 2013COA26 (February 28, 2013)
Denial – it’s not just another common interest community. It is what happens when a developer tries to withdraw a portion of property from a community after other portions have been sold. Vista Ridge was established by a recorded Declaration under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA), which permitted a “portion” of lots within the community to withdraw so long as no lot within the “portion” had been sold. 94 lots were added to Vista Ridge and 8 were sold. Arcadia owned 70, and attempted to withdraw them. The HOA sued; the trial court denied Arcadia’s attempt. The court of appeals affirmed, holding the word “portion” in CCIOA CRS 38-33.3-210(4), unambiguously refers to property described within a recorded declaration. The 94 lots were described; Arcadia’s lots were not, and couldn’t be withdrawn. The HOA was awarded attorneys’ fees plus the 18% interest on assessments.
One theory about the fall of the French monarchy is that its taxation system was inefficient. In this case, Denver assessed taxes on concessionaires in DIA. DIA, as a city entity, is exempt from ad valorem (property) taxes. However, private possessory interests in property located on exempt property may nonetheless be taxed. Case law defines a possessory interest as taxable if: 1) revenues are provided by private sources, 2) owner can exclude others, and 3) ownership lasts long enough for a private benefit. According to the court of appeals here, the Colorado Constitution imposes the tax, but the methodology for assessing taxes on possessory interests is statutory. Here, the court rejected the concessionaires’ constitutional challenge to the statute and the court held that the concessionaires had a taxable possessory interest. Accordingly, the concessionaires were taxed.