Only 45 owners have appealed the valuations of their houses, land or commercial property used for their 2010 Pitkin County property taxes — a pittance compared to the 4,700-some protests that were filed last year, some of which are still unresolved.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – Homes are re-appraised every two years, unless improvements are made on them in the interim. So just roughly 300 improved homes got new values for 2010. The rest were taxed based on the same value ascribed to them in 2009.Under state guidelines, the Pitkin County assessor’s office last year valued county property based on comparable local sales from mid-2006 to mid-2008, a period in which the luxury real estate bubble drove home prices into the stratosphere and the assessor found property values went up 40 percent. The total assessed private property value in the county at the time stood at $37.7 billion.Of course, by the time locals got their tax bills early last year, the economy had tanked, the bubble had burst and the Great Recession was underway. Thus, a record number of valuation protests were filed, claiming the assessor over-estimated property values. “We got hammered last year,” Isaac said.
By Andrew Travers, May 20, 2010 Aspen Daily News

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