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Colorado Supreme Court to Rule on “Unusual Conditions” Definition for 2020 COVID-19 Assessment Appeals

Tax Development Dec 13, 2022

Colorado Supreme Court to Rule on “Unusual Conditions” Definition for 2020 COVID-19 Assessment Appeals

Taxpayers throughout Colorado filed assessment appeals for the 2020 tax year claiming the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent executive orders diminished their property values, thereby requiring assessors to revalue their properties for the intervening (non-reassessment) year. Typically, 2020 property values cannot be different than 2019 values unless there is an “unusual condition,” which includes any detrimental acts of nature or a restriction on the use of the owner’s land.

Colorado assessors uniformly rejected these appeals for two reasons:

  1. The pandemic was not present during the statutory data gathering period for 2019 and 2020 assessments, January 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
  2. Colorado Revised Statute 39-1-104(11)(b)(I) requires assessors to consider “unusual conditions” that occur prior to January 1 of a non-reappraisal year (in this case, 2020). COVID-19 was not declared a pandemic until late March 2020.

In October 2022, the Colorado Court of Appeals announced a decision in a case out of Weld County, Colorado stating Colorado Revised Statute 39-1-104(11)(b)(I) “requires the assessor to consider unusual conditions that occur at any point” during the non-reappraisal year.

In January 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that may potentially open the door for 2020 tax year property assessment appeals because of the pandemic. We are filing 2020 abatement appeals for the following property types: hospitality, senior living, retail, office, and any other property type impacted by the pandemic. Until the issue has been decided by the Colorado Supreme Court, the abatement will serve as a placeholder and ensure your rights of appeal if the case is successful.

If you are the owner of one of the aforementioned property types, contact one of the Ryan experts below for assistance today. Our local Colorado experts will continue to monitor this case.

Learn More About Our Colorado Team

Matt Poling

Joseph Monzon

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