Location: County Clerk & Recorder, 
200 W. Oak St., Fort Collins, CO 80521

Mailing: P.O. Box 1280, Fort Collins, CO 80522

Hours: 8am - 5pm, June through August
Phone: (970) 498-7838

Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes 39-8-101, the Board of County Commissioners sits as the County Board of Equalization (CBOE) and appoints independent referees each summer to hear individual taxpayers' appeals of the Assessor's valuation of real and personal property to ensure owners receive fair and equalized assessments of their property.

The Larimer County Clerk and Recorder's CBOE administrative office oversees the scheduling of hearings, the filing of documentation, and serves as a liaison between the CBOE referees, taxpayers, the Assessor's Office, and the Board of County Commissioners. Each employee of the CBOE administrative office is deputized by the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder and strives to ensure that you, the taxpayer, have full access to the property tax appeal system.

Scheduling for real property (residential homes, vacant and improved land, and commercial buildings) and personal property (furnishings, machinery, office equipment, etc.) runs from July 3, 2017, through July 14, 2017.

You may connect with us in person or by mail to schedule your hearing. If you wish to select your hearing date and time, you must appear in person to schedule.

If you wish to select your hearing date and time, you (the taxpayer), or your agent must appear in person at the Larimer County Courthouse, Citizen Information Center, located at 200 West Oak Street, 1st floor in Fort Collins, CO 80521. You must provide your Notice of Determination (NOD), CBOE hearing request slip, and any evidence you wish to present to the county Board of Equalization (issued by the Assessor's Office, or otherwise). Hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Due to statutory deadlines, hearings cannot be changed or rescheduled. We cannot schedule hearings by fax, email, or phone.

If you wish to schedule your hearing by mail, you must send your NOD and CBOE hearing request slip to the County Board of Equalization at P.O. Box 1280, Fort Collins CO 80522. You will be notified in writing of the date, time and location of your hearing shortly after we receive your completed NOD and CBOE hearing request slip. Please keep in mind that more options for hearing times will be available the sooner we receive these completed items. If we receive these items close to the end of the scheduling period, the options for hearing times will be very limited, and you may be scheduled for a day or time that you will be unable to attend.

Failure to include any of the following may delay your ability to schedule a CBOE hearing:

  • NOD - Notice of Determination – complete with your estimate of property value and signature.
  • CBOE hearing request slip – complete with your name, agent name (if applicable), schedule or parcel number (which can be found on the front of your NOD), and dates and times that you are unavailable to attend a hearing.
  • Evidence – any evidence illustrating a need for adjustment to the Assessor's assigned value. All evidence previously submitted to the Assessor's Office during the preliminary appeal process must be resubmitted to the CBOE, as the CBOE is not affiliated with the Assessor's Office.

The comparables (evidence) used by the Assessor's Office to set the valuation of your property will be available for you to pick up in the Assessor's Office, located in the Larimer County Courthouse at 200 West Oak Street, on the 2nd floor, three business days prior to your hearing. The Assessor's Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

CBOE hearings will take place between July 17, 2017 through August 4, 2017, and will be comprised of one or two referees appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, a certified appraiser from the Assessor's Office, and you (the taxpayer). Each hearing will be 15 minutes in length. This time allows you (the taxpayer), to present your evidence for 5 minutes, the appraiser from the Assessor's office to present their evidence for 5 minutes, and the remaining time is left for the referee(s) to deliberate and ask final questions. Timing is critical, statutory deadline requires that this entire process be completed no later than August 4, 2017.

CBOE decisions will be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners for consideration the Tuesday following your hearing. The administrative office will mail notification letters to the taxpayers shortly after the Board of County Commissioners' ruling. Accompanying each letter will be information regarding the options available for further appeal.

You may also review our CBOE informational brochure for more information.

Scope

To give taxpayers an alternative to pursuing an appeal of the County Board of Equalization's decision through either the Board of Assessment Appeals or the District Court, an arbitration process is hereby implemented pursuant to C.R.S. 39-8-108.5.  Any arbitration hearing is de novo as stated under C.R.S. 39-8-108.

Arbitrator List

The Board of County Commissioners will maintain a list of qualified persons who shall act as arbitrators of property valuation disputes. Such list will be kept on file in the office of the Board of County Commissioners. Such lists will be updated or revised as deemed necessary by the Board of County Commissioners.

  1. Qualifications: To qualify as an arbitrator an individual shall be:
    1. Experienced in the area of property taxation;
    2. Licensed or certified pursuant to part 7 of article 61 of title 12, C.R.S.;
    3. Be any one of the following: an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado; an appraiser who is a member of the institute of real estate appraisers or its equivalent; a former county assessor; a retired  judge; a former or current Board of Equalization Referee or a licensed real estate broker.
  2. Limitation: No person shall act as an arbitrator of property valuation disputes in any county during any property tax year in which such person represents or has represented any taxpayer in any matter related to the protest and appeal of property valuation or to the abatement or refund of property taxes.
  3. Acceptance: Promptly after an arbitrator is selected, he or she shall issue a written and signed acceptance or appointment.

Arbitration Procedures

  1. Filing: Within thirty (30) days of the County Board of Equalization's decision, any taxpayer who plans to pursue arbitration shall notify the Board in writing of his or her intent. Failure to file notice within thirty (30) calendar days shall result in any subsequent arbitration petition filed being dismissed.
  2. Selection of Arbitrator: Upon receipt of the taxpayer’s notice, the taxpayer and the County Board of Equalization shall select an arbitrator from the list on file with the Board of County Commissioners, within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the list of arbitrators is made available or within forty-five (45) calendar days of the Board of Equalization’s decision, whichever is later. In the absence of agreement between the taxpayer and the Board of Equalization, the Larimer County District Court shall select an arbitrator from said list.  If a taxpayer fails to designate an arbitrator selection(s) within the required time frame, the request for arbitration shall be deemed withdrawn.
  3. Petition: Within fifteen (15) calendar days of the date the arbitrator is chosen the taxpayer shall file: (1) an Arbitration Petition and (2) the fee as required by paragraph 3D of these rules. One petition must be filed for each schedule number, unless in the determination of the arbitrator the petition involves multiple lots that are claimed to be identical for valuation purposes.
    1. The petition shall be accompanied by the following documents:
      1.  A copy of the Board of Equalization Resolution along with any attachments.
      2. A notarized Letter of Authorization issued within the past twelve (12) months if an agent will be representing an individual. An entry of appearance from a licensed Colorado attorney who will be representing an entity or individual.
    2. The petition shall include the following:
      1. Name of petitioner(s);
      2. Property in question - address or legal description;
      3. The property tax schedule number;
      4. Type of property: residential real property or other property;
      5. A statement that the deposit towards the arbitrator's fee has been made;
      6. Issues for arbitration;
      7. Estimated time for petitioner to present its case;
      8. Signature and typed or printed name of petitioner, petitioner's address, telephone number, e-mail address (if available), and date petition was signed.
  4. Fees: For residential property, the taxpayer shall advance $150, payable to Larimer County, to be held in trust as a deposit to cover the fees and expenses of the arbitration. Fees and expenses shall not exceed $150 per case as required by C.R.S. 39-8-108.7(5)(a). The funds in escrow will be disbursed as provided in the arbitrator's decision. The funds in escrow will be returned to the taxpayer if the Board of Equalization and the taxpayer agree to a settlement and stipulation prior to arbitration hearing. For any taxable property other than residential real property, the arbitrator's expenses and fees shall be capped at $150/hour. Based upon the taxpayer's petition, the arbitrator shall issue an order directing the amount the taxpayer shall advance to cover estimated arbitration time and procedural oversight by the arbitrator. The taxpayer shall advance the fee payable to Larimer County, to be held in trust as a deposit to cover the fees and expenses of the arbitration. The arbitrator's fees and expenses incurred in the conduct of the arbitration shall be paid in accordance with the arbitrator's decision. The funds in escrow will be disbursed as provided in the arbitrator's decision. If the Board of Equalization and the taxpayer agree to a settlement and stipulation prior to arbitration hearing, the arbitrator shall issue a decision on costs incurred up to that point, the taxpayer's portion shall be paid out of funds in escrow and the remaining portion returned to the taxpayer.
  5. Representation: If the property owner is an entity it must appear under the representation of an attorney licensed in Colorado, unless it meets the requirements for an exception under C.R.S. 13-1-127. All individual taxpayers may be represented by an agent or attorney licensed in Colorado if they so choose.
  6. Exchange of documentary evidence: The taxpayer shall disclose all documentation that will be used as evidence (exhibits and list of witnesses) at least fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the hearing. The Board of Equalization shall disclose all documentation seven (7) days prior to the hearing. Three (3) calendar days prior to the hearing all reply documentation pertaining to the evidence submitted must be exchanged among all parties. These document exchange deadlines may be extended upon the determination of the arbitrator. Documentary evidence may be exchanged via mail, Federal Express/United Parcel Service, fax, hand delivery or electronic means. Failure to comply with disclosure deadlines shall result in the Arbitrator entering an order denying the position of the party failing to comply with disclosure. The arbitrator shall not consider any documents or exhibits not timely exchanged, or hear from witnesses timely disclosed.
  7. Hearings:
    1. Assignment - Upon payment of the fees as outlined in paragraphs 3D and the filing of the petition, the case will be assigned to the arbitrator selected in accordance with paragraph 3B of these rules.
    2. Scheduling - Arbitration hearings shall be held within sixty (60) days from the date the arbitrator was selected. The hearings shall be at a time and place set by the arbitrator with the mutual consent of the taxpayer and the County Board of Equalization.
    3. Procedure - The arbitrator shall preside at the hearing. All arbitration hearings shall be scheduled for one hour of hearing time, unless the arbitrator approves additional time. Hearing time shall be evenly divided between petitioner and Board of Equalization.
      1. At the commencement of the hearing, the arbitrator shall inform the parties that they may reserve a portion of their allotted one-half of the time allowed for the entire hearing for rebuttal or closing argument.
      2. Arbitration hearing procedures shall be informal, and strict rules of evidence shall not apply, except as deemed necessary by the arbitrator in the interests of justice. All questions of law and fact shall be determined by the arbitrator. The arbitrator may make other determinations in order to conduct a reasonable and fair hearing.
    4. Subpoenas - The parties may informally engage in discovery and witness process. If necessary, parties may apply to the arbitrator for a subpoena for information or witnesses, pursuant to C.R.S. 39-8-108.5(3)(c).
    5. Attendance - The taxpayer and the Board of Equalization shall attend, personally or with any attorney or agent as required, and participate in the proceedings. Such participation may include the filing of briefs and affidavits. Upon agreement of both parties, the proceedings may be confidential and closed to the public.
    6. Record of proceedings - No record of the proceedings shall be maintained.
  8. Arbitrator's Decision: The arbitrator's decision shall be in writing and signed by the arbitrator. The arbitrator shall deliver a copy of his/her decision to the parties personally or by certified mail within ten (10) calendar days of the hearing. Such decision shall be final and not subject to review or appeal. The arbitrator's decision shall include:
    1. The property tax schedule number;
    2. The County Board of Equalization petition number;
    3. The title of the document as "ARBITRATION AWARD";
    4. The full case name;
    5. The identities of the parties who were present at the hearing either in person or by counsel;
    6. A statement of the arbitrator's findings, and that the arbitrator has found in favor of the taxpayer, in whole or In part, or the Board of Equalization, in whole or in part, and against the other party;
    7. The change in classification and/or valuation of the subject property, if any;
    8. The amount of the arbitrator's fees and expenses incurred in conducting the arbitration and which party or parties shall pay those fees;
      1. Note: Arbitrator's fee concerning residential real property shall not exceed $150.
    9. A signature line for the arbitrator and the date of the decision.

LOCATION: 201 La Porte Avenue, Ft Collins, CO 80521
HOURS: 8am - 4pm
PHONE: (970) 494-3500

The taxpayer may appeal to the District Court of the county where the property is located, for judicial review of the decision of the Board of Equalization, pursuant to Colorado law. Such appeal must be filed within thirty (30) days from the postmarked date of the decision letter. The taxpayer must open a civil case and pay the filing fee of $224.00. Further information on proceedings can be obtained by the attorneys involved with the case in question.

FAQs

  1. The NOD is the Notice of Determination, which is sent to taxpayers by the Assessor's Office during the latter part of June. This notice contains the Assessor's response to the taxpayer's protest in May.

  2. Real property is any immovable property attached directly to land as well as land itself (i.e., residential homes, vacant and improved land, and commercial buildings). Personal property is any movable asset not fixed permanently to one location (i.e., furnishings, machinery, office equipment, etc.).

  3. If mailing in your request for a hearing, allow 3-4 days to receive your notice for hearing. If it has been more than 3-4 days since you sent in your notice for your hearing, call (970) 498-7838, leave your name, contact number, and the reason for your call, and we will respond within 24 hours.

  4. If you are unable to attend your hearing for any reason, you must submit written authorization to appoint someone to attend on your behalf. If you cannot have an agent or representative present at your hearing, the hearing will proceed in your absence, and you will be provided with options for further appeal. You may submit any evidence you would like presented at your hearing in your absence to the County Board of Equalization at 200 W. Oak Street Suite 1000; Fort Collins, CO 80521.

  5. Appraisals or real estate agent/MLS listing information can be helpful to illustrate your estimate of property valuation. Sale comparables for the statutorily required timeframe (the period of July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016), may be obtained by visiting the following links provided by the Assessor's Office:

  6. Yes, evidence may be presented the day of the hearing, but please bring three copies of all papers - one for you, one for the Assessor's representative, and one for the referee. A copy machine will not be available at your hearing.

  7. Hearings are not recorded. Should you decide to appeal the decision of the Board of Equalization, the subsequent hearing will be a "de novo" hearing, which means you will start the hearing process anew and new evidence will be presented.

  8. No decisions will be announced or available until final approval is obtained by the Board of County Commissioners. The referee(s) will make a recommendation that will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners the Tuesday following the completion of your hearing.

  9. You and your agent will be mailed a decision letter by the end of the week following the Commissioners' final approval. If you haven't received a letter of decision by August 20, 2017, call our CBOE voicemail at (970) 498-7838, and leave your name, contact number, and the reason for your call.

  10. Yes, the decision of the CBOE may be appealed via three different avenues, all of which must be pursued within 30 days of the date on your decision letter. The three options for further appeal will be clearly defined on your decision letter.

  11. Questions regarding the NOD can be answered by calling the Assessor's Office at (970) 498-7050. Their office hours are 7:30am - 4:30pm.