Watch CBS News

Many Douglas County homeowners fighting for relief after huge spike in property valuations

Number of property valuation appeals unprecedented in Douglas County
Number of property valuation appeals unprecedented in Douglas County 03:14

Much like in the rest of the Denver metro area, many Douglas County homeowners are fighting for relief after seeing a large hike in their property taxes.  

The county assessor's office says this year's increases are unprecedented, and so are the number of appeals filed so far. With the deadline to file this Thursday, those who haven't appealed their property valuation are running out of time.  

After raising a family in her Castle Rock home, there are few places Leslie Polson would rather be, and even fewer things that could change that. 

"We like that it's a family environment," Polson said. "There's a lot of good, nice families, smaller town feel with a downtown area we like." 


While Polson and her family are happy living in the Meadows, they, like many across the state, are now facing a challenge outside of their control. Soon, their property taxes will rise significantly.  

"Money has to come from somewhere, so we have to cut back on a few other things in order to put that money towards the increase in our monthly property tax," Polson said.  

With a 65% increase in property taxes, Polson is one of many in Douglas County looking to appeal, hoping the assessor's office will make an adjustment to their valuation. 

So far, more than 21,000 people in the county have filed in person, by mail, or online. The deadline to do so is this Thursday.  

"In Douglas County, our homeowners are really upset, and with the right to be," said county assessor Toby Damisch. "We're already double the highest appeal count we've ever had and we've got a few days left, so we're going to add more to that tally."  

According to Damisch, the average increase in Douglas County is about 47%, which is in line with the region but unprecedented historically. 

While it means more work for his staff, he's quick to tell people with concerns to appeal, since valuations are based on a peak time in the market.  

"Really, what they should be asking is could they have sold their property for that amount last spring, and if the answer is still no, then they should really consider filing an appeal," Damisch said.  

While Polson's taxes have gone up, so has her home's value, though she's not sure it's comparable. She's hopeful the county will see it the same.  

"What they were selling at in 2020, we can't sell it for that right now," Polson said. "Even if we don't see much of a reduction, at least if people can come together and voice their concern, then maybe leaders will take note."  

Damisch said historically, they make adjustments to about 25% to 50% of appeals. This year, he expects that number to be on the high end.  

Douglas County is one of the counties suing to challenge Proposition HH, a property tax relief bill signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis, which still needs voter approval. They say Proposition HH is unclear and unconstitutional.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.