County compliant on property valuation

Auditor reviewed procedures, says county is 'doing things right'

The result of an independent auditor's review of Routt County's property assessment procedures indicate the county is compliant in all areas.

"(The) conclusion of the study is that Routt County is doing things right, and there are no recommendations for doing things better," Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said.

Each year, the state Legislature hires an auditor to review how each county is performing under the Colorado Division of Property Taxation's guidelines, Routt County Assessor Amy Williams said.

Counties are required to follow the guidelines, and it is important they do so, Williams said. The study helps the state ensure that counties are giving similar values to similar properties, for instance, that Moffat and Routt counties value agricultural properties similarly.

That prevents counties from starting to undervalue properties, which could provide benefits such as more state funding, Williams said.

For the study, the auditor looked at areas ranging from methods for valuing types of property to the ratio between properties' assessed value and sale price. A ratio close to 1:1 suggested that the assessor's work was on target, Williams said.

For all four property types, Routt County had a near-1:1 ratio, with allowable dispersion between values.

Another important conclusion was that the county treated sold and unsold properties in the same manner, which means it didn't participate in "sales chasing" in which sold property is selectively reappraised based on sales price or another criteria.

The study also showed the county is doing a good job of verifying sales.

"The ultimate conclusion was we're fine and complaint in all areas of the study," Williams said.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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