Highlands Ranch Living

Understanding Property Taxes in Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Hey there! If you're a current or prospective homeowner in Highlands Ranch, you've likely wondered about property taxes in Douglas County. I'm here to shed some light on this essential topic and share some insider knowledge that can help you navigate the sometimes tricky waters of property taxes.

What are Property Taxes?

First off, let's quickly touch on what property taxes are. They are local taxes that homeowners are required to pay, which contribute to public expenses like schools, fire protection, parks, roads, and our four recreation centers.

How Property Taxes are Determined in Highlands Ranch

In Highlands Ranch, like the rest of Colorado, property taxes are based on two key factors: the assessed value of your property and the mill levy, which is the tax rate set by various taxing authorities.

Assessed Property Value

Douglas County assessors determine your property's assessed value by evaluating comparable property sales, among other factors. Colorado has a revaluation cycle of every odd-numbered year, so taxes were recently re-assessed in 2023, leading to a large increase in tax bills for most homeowners in Douglas County.

It is important to note that the state requires counties to use an 18-month study period prior to the re-assessment. This means the updated 2023 property taxes are based on 2021 and 2022 home sales (also known as comparables). If you were looking at homes in Colorado then, you know that prices were through the roof, making assessed values higher than homeowners expected, as the market as cooled slightly in 2023.

Mill Levy

The mill levy is a bit more complex. It's actually the sum of the rates imposed by different jurisdictions your property falls within---like county, city, and school districts. Each jurisdiction will determine its required revenue and set a mill levy accordingly. You can find the specific mill levies for Highlands Ranch on Douglas County's website or by contacting the county assessor's office.

While new construction and an increase in population leads to more revenue without raising the levy, you will occasionally see questions on your ballot from these districts when if they ask to increase the levy.

How to Calculate Your Tax Bill

Now, let's talk numbers. To calculate your property tax, you'll multiply the assessed value of your property by the mill levy. Remember, this is the total of all the mill levies from the different authorities. I've helped many clients work through these calculations to better understand their tax obligations. Note that the assessed value is NOT the market value of your home, it is a different number that the county arrives at by taking the actual value of your home and multiplying it by the assessment rate, which is currently 6.765% in Douglas County.

Here's a simplified formula:

Property Tax = Assessed Property Value x Total Mill Levy

Let's Work Together

Understanding property taxes is vital when buying a home, and I'm here not just to help you find the perfect property, but also to support you in managing what comes after the purchase. If you have more questions or need guidance, I'd be thrilled to assist you. Reach out to me, and let's make sure you're as informed as possible about your property taxes here in Highlands Ranch.

Keep this information as a handy reference, and remember, I'm just a call or an email away for your real estate needs in Highlands Ranch. Let's make sure you're set up for success in your home, with no tax surprises.

Let's find your new home!

Chris is a Realtor who specializes in helping clients build, buy, and sell homes. As an expert in the area, I am ready to help you find and close on your new home. Use the button below to reach out to me today!

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