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Commercial Property Tax Appeals Have Resulted in Substantial Savings

With the skyrocketing cost of real estate in Colorado in the past few years, many commercial property owners have seen large increases in property value assessments, resulting in similarly large increases in property taxes.

Fortunately, there is a recourse. Spencer Fane attorneys Michael Miller and Larry Martinez recently finished over 90 property tax cases for the 2017/2018 series, successfully obtaining substantial reductions of assessed values and corresponding property taxes for several of our clients. Spencer Fane is the Colorado member of the American Property Tax Counsel, the premier national network of attorneys (one firm in each state) focusing on property tax appeals.

In two cases for a client with big box properties, after a lengthy hearing at the State Board, the team was able to garner $7,370,000 reductions in assessed value for the two properties. In another case for a client with medical office buildings, the team successfully negotiated a settlement resulting in a reduction of $6,500,000 in assessed value. The resulting savings in property taxes were over $200,000 for each of these properties.

Key Takeaways for Your Company

  • Property values are reassessed every two years with the next assessment coming in the spring of 2019. Reductions in values apply for 2 years, thus doubling the potential tax savings. To decrease the taxes resulting from the possible value increase, property owners should consider an appeal of the assessed value.
  • It is not necessary to wait until the 2019 tax assessment. If your property is over-valued and has not previously been contested, the value can be challenged now through the abatement process.
  • It is most effective to have your attorney involved at the beginning of the process. You have the benefit of the attorney client privilege and an experienced advocate throughout the process.
  • Spencer Fane takes on these cases, if we believe there is a valid appeal, on a contingency basis, so there are no fees until the Client obtains an actual tax savings.