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Predicted jump in property taxes force some Coloradans to make tough decisions

Property tax increase means some homeowners will struggle to keep up with costs
Property tax increase means some homeowners will struggle to keep up with costs 03:02

There's a good chance when you get your next property tax value, there will be a big increase

2023 is the year county assessors re-value homes and properties. Wednesday assessors from nine Front Range counties joined together to let people know that an increase is coming.

Home of Jack Lipe in Centennial CBS

For many, taxes will be between 30% and 60% higher. One of those people is 86-year-old Jack Lipe, who is very comfortable in his Centennial home.

"This house is my life," he said.

He's lived there since he bought it brand new in 1986 with his wife of nearly 60 years, Janice.

"We worked awful hard during our life. Both of us worked and we saved and everything and life's been very very good to us," Jack said.

Jack and Janice Lipe on their wedding day CBS

Like any homeowner, they've added some personal touches that make it theirs. Like Jack's beer steins or Janice's trimmings which Jack is quick to show off.

"Over the years I've collected a few," Jack said.


"See all the dachshunds? That's all her," he said. "This is her piano," he adds.

Jack still holds onto these things despite losing Janice four years ago to illness because they remind him of their life together.

"She could walk back in his house today. I just haven't had what it takes to move stuff out," Jack said.


But now he may have to. Thanks to statewide property re-valuation, Jack says his property taxes are increasing by 50%.

"I'm being took! It's crazy," Jack said. "I'm actually paying more in property taxes than my initial payments were when we purchased this house (that included)  taxes, insurance, principal and interest."

Jack is retired and on a fixed income. He says if taxes increase as much as he suspects, he will struggle to live.

"We're not like politicians. We can't just raise the rate or spend the money. We are caught," he said. "I will have to leave the state. I can't afford it."

That means all the memories of the love of his life attached to his home will disappear. He says our elected officials should be doing something to help Coloradans. Especially people on a fixed income like him.

Jack Lipe in his Centennial home CBS

"We went from a steak every once in a while, to a slop of hamburger. And that's what you are doing to every old person," Jack said.

All of Jack's kids and grandkids live in Colorado. So Jack says if he has to move, he will be leaving them behind along with the countless memories that are attached to their family home. 

His backup plan is to move to Idaho and start over, but he says with the cost of living there, he may not even be able to afford a house and will have to move into an RV on some land.

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