Understanding Property Taxes

propertytax1As the election nears, much national focus has been placed on our presidential candidates. However, some very important local measures will be on the ballot this year, and some of them directly impact property taxes.

While we will not use this blog as a platform to give our opinions on the various measures, it is important to note that city progress is made through these items. Some of the items include improvements for roads and bridges, the La Plata County Airport, Durango School District 9-R, Bayfield School District, and more. As citizens of La Plata County, we all have a vested interest in the maintenance and improvement of where we live, and desire to see the county in the best possible position. That said, it is crucial to take a critical look at how these improvements are funded, so voters may make informed decisions. Our goal is to help explain how these property taxes are calculated.

These improvements are paid by an increase in mill levys. A mill levy is the “assessed property tax rate used by local governments and other jurisdictions to raise revenue in order to cover annual expenses. The mill levy is calculated by determining how much revenue each taxing jurisdiction will need for the upcoming year, then dividing that projection by the total value of the property within the area, and finally adding up the rate from each jurisdiction to get the mill levy for the entire area. (Investopedia: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mill-levy.asp).”

You can find your exact property taxes on the La Plata County site called Eagle Web at this link.

For approximate residential property tax, this is a simple method:

Take the approximate value of the property, and multiply times 8% to reach the assessed value. Then multiply this assessed value times the mill levy for final tax.

For example:

Property Value / Durango In Town home: $400,000
x 8%= Assessed Value: $ 32,000
Multiply Times mill levy of .030535= Approx. Property Tax: $ 977.12
For vacant land and commercial, the assessed value is set at 29%:

For example:

Property Value / Durango In Town Commercial or Vacant Land: $400,000
X29%= Assessed Value: $116,000
Multiply Times mill levy of .030535=Approx. Property Tax: $3,542.06

Basically, various parts of the county have different mill levys, and these proposed ballot items will increase mill levys. Some of the increases are county wide; others pertain to specific school district boundaries.

Here is a list of the current mill levys based on home locations in the county:

City & Neighborhood Mill Levys:

  • Durango In Town: 30.535 (multiply times .030535)
  • Durango West II: 32.738 (multiply times .032738)
  • Dalton Ranch: 33.728 (multiply times .032728)
  • Forest Lakes: 80.258 (multiply times .080258)
  • Bayfield In Town: 50.684 (multiply times .050684)
  • Edgemont Ranch: 43.944 (multiply times .043944)
  • Edgemont Highlands: 43.184 (multiply times .043184)
  • Three Springs: 79.983 (muliply times .0799983)
  • Ignacio In Town: 31.138 (mulitply times .031138)

As you can see, the mill levys vary throughout the county. It is important to consider where you live and what you currently pay in property taxes so you are aware of implications that voting for these measures will bring.

We hope this blog helps you understand the basics behind the numbers and how they are generated so you are prepared for the election.Here are some additional resources as you research these topics and determine the impact on your property taxes and the benefits brought to La Plata County.

The Durango Herald offered a helpful breakdown and article of specifics. Take a look for more information: http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20160928/NEWS01/160929428/

This information has been provided courtesy of The Durango Team real estate.

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