Assessor FAQs

Frequently asked questions for the Saguache County Assessor's Office

How are taxes calculated?

The actual value of the property is multiplied by the appropriate assessment rate, equals the assessed value. (Assessment rate for residential property is 7.96% and all other property is 29%) The assessed value is multiplied by the total mill levy for the area the property is located, equals the tax amount. A total mill levy is established by adding all the levies of the various taxing authorities providing service in your tax area.

Why are taxes on vacant land so much greater than residential land?

There are two assessment rates in the State of Colorado which are established by the Gallagher Amendment. For property classified residential, the current assessment rate is 7.96% of market value. The assessment rate for most other types of property, including personal property, is 29% of actual value.

Why are taxes on agricultural land so much lower than all other property classifications?

The actual value of agricultural land, exclusive of improvements, is based on the earning or productive capacity of the land, capitalized at the statutory rate of 13%. Residential property is valued using only the market approach to value. Most non-residential property, including personal property, is valued by consideration of the market approach, the cost approach, and the income approach of value.

What comprises a mill levy?

Each year county commissioners, city councils, school boards, governing boards of special districts, and other taxing authorities determine the revenue needed and allowed under the law to provide services for the following year. Each taxing authority calculates a tax rate based on the revenue needed from property tax and the total assessed value of real and personal property located within their boundaries. The tax rate is often expressed as a mill levy. All of the tax rates or mill levies of the various taxing authorities providing services in your tax area are added together to form the total tax rate or total mill levy. Public notices of budget hearings are published in the local newspaper. The public hearings are usually scheduled in September of October. By attending budget hearings, taxpayers may participate in the budget process and become informed about the quality and cost of services provided in their area.

What are the duties of the Assessor's Office?

The county assessor is responsible for discovering, listing, classifying, and valuing all property in the county in accordance with state laws. The assessor’s goal is to establish accurate values of all property located within the county which in turn ensures that the tax burden is distributed fairly and equitably among all property owners.