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February 22, 2024 09:51 AM UTC

Sorry Dan Haley, Nextdoor Anecdotes Aren't Data

  • by: Colorado Pols

Colorado Oil and Gas Association President Dan Haley stepped out of his fossil-fuel cheerleading lane last week to offer this hot take derived from his recent perusal of the Nextdoor neighborhood chat app, in which Haley says he’s observed lots of complaining about higher property tax assessments arriving in mailboxes across the state:

So first of all, we must caution against taking the opinions expressed on Nextdoor as representative of anything more than a class of people who, and there’s no nice way to say this, like to complain. That’s the personality type in our experience that tends to congregate on this particular app, and along with complaints about barking dogs and loud stereos we wouldn’t be surprised at all to find some inevitable complaining about higher property taxes.

But what’s the reality of property taxes in Colorado? As FOX 31 reported Tuesday, the data doesn’t back up the angst on Nextdoor:

After the 2023 assessment rates were released, many saw their property values spike, leading many to worry about whether or not they could afford their annual tax bill.

Despite this, WalletHub reported that Coloradans have the third-lowest effective property tax rate in the nation at 0.49%.

This was only behind Hawaii and Alabama:

Hawaii – Effective tax rate: 0.27%
Alabama – Effective tax rate: 0.39%
Colorado – Effective tax rate: 0.49% [Pols emphasis]
Nevada – Effective tax rate: 0.50%
South Carolina – Effective tax rate: 0.53%

After the failure of Proposition HH last year, the special session convened by Gov. Jared Polis passed a temporary reduction to the property tax rate along with a deduction of the first $55,000 of a home’s value in order to mitigate the increase caused by the huge spike in home values over the past few years. Despite this, property owners will see some increase, though still small in comparison to the huge spikes in rent across the state over the same period that nobody is providing relief for.

But those property owners also know why their tax bill has increased, and it’s not the fault of Colorado legislators. It’s because their home values have gone through the roof, and property owners also stand to reap the benefits of all that gained value. A lot of them already have. Nobody wants to pay higher taxes, but property taxes are based on the property’s value, and at some level even the most partisan blame-gamers out there understand that relationship.

We could spend a lifetime trying to patiently educate Nextdoor users on how these things work, but we suspect neither they nor Dan Haley want the help.


9 thoughts on “Sorry Dan Haley, Nextdoor Anecdotes Aren’t Data

  1. I do not understand the screaming.

    Our assessed market value went up by over 30%. This is accurate according to my 1394-row speadsheet of house sales in our neighborhood.
    Our property taxes went up by 22%. And are .45% of market value.

    1. Dave — I got similar numbers when I ran the calculations.  The effective tax rate of .49% is true for those of us lucky to just have the base mill levy rate (Denver is 77.486).  But for those in newer developments with a Metro Tax District private property tax surcharge to pay off the high interest infrastructure bonds that Wall Street gobbles up, the rate is basically 1%.

      For example, my friend owns a home in Central Park.  His mill levy is almost double mine — 144.338 mills  Needless to say, he pays considerably more than I do.  His home is assessed at twice mine, and sure enough 2×2 = 4 times as much in property taxes!

  2. So, what DOES he want?  Cuts in government spending & services?  A different tax source to make up the difference?

    Personally. I think boosting revenue from extraction severance taxes would be a great alternative.  I even think a progressive income tax, adjusted to cover the property tax loss would be okay, too.

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