What’s Taxing You: With Jeffco Assessor Scot Kersgaard

March 13, 2023

When it comes to taxes, Jeffco Assessor Scot Kersgaard’s ask is simple; Don’t kill the assessor! At a recent meeting of the Jefferson County Business Lobby (JCBL), the united voice of JeffCo businesses at the Colorado State Capitol, Jeffco EDC President Jansen Tidmore arranged for a special conversation for members to learn more about the looming issue of taxes possibly set for a show-down at the state legislature this year. 

“Taxes are in part a statutory matter,” points out JCBL lobbyist Jeff Weist. “As per current state law, every two years there is a property tax assessment. With the recent spike in the value of both residential and commercial property, the Governor and our state legislators know they have the power to propose a legislative solution before taxpayers possibly receive a huge jump in property taxes because of the assessment set to be applied in 2023.” 

There are three legs to what determines taxes. The first is the assessment of the property, completed by the county assessor’s office. The second is the assessment rate that is set by the state legislature, currently at 6.765% for residential property and 27.9% for commercial property for tax year 2023, payable in 2024. And the third is the mills set by the different taxing authorities such as the school district, county, city, and fire department, among others. “There are over 200 different taxing jurisdictions in Jeffco. I’m not a tax-policy guy, I’m an assessment guy,” says Kersgaard. “I determine the value of the property, and the tax rates are applied from each taxing entity – and that’s it.”

Down at the state legislature, there is one potential solution making its way through the legislative session. Senate Bill 108 would allow taxing authorities to lower their mills in response to higher values. While technically this is already permissible by law, many districts are reluctant to do so out of fear that under the strict definition of TABOR law, they may not be able to raise the mills back to prior levels if necessary in the future. This bill would codify into law the raising of mills back to the previous levels at a later time, without having to go to a vote of taxpayers to do so.

Another potential solution. House Bill 1054 would allow for a two-year pause of the property tax assessment. This would effectively skip the 2023 reassessment year, keeping property values where they are today for two more years. If implemented, taxes would be assessed based on the value of a property as of June 30, 2020, not June 30, 2022, which is what the current law dictates must be done.

“I think this could be a good-enough solution, for now,” says Kersgaard. “If the state legislature tells counties across Colorado not to complete the 2023 assessment, it can give us time to have the conversation about long-term property tax reform.” 

Jansen Tidmore says the time is now for JCBL members to learn more about this issue, and to get involved in finding a solution. “We know the power of speaking together with a unified voice at the capitol. Taxes are always a top issue for our Jeffco EDC members. We look forward to having business owners and community leaders talk with our elected officials so we can work together to solve this impending problem.” 

Learn more about what’s taxing you in this informative handout from Jeffco Assessor Scot Kersgaard, and get involved with your JCBL for more information on this and other pieces of legislation impacting our Jeffco community.


JCBL Day at the Capitol- April 6, 2023

Mark your calendars for the return of the annual JCBL Day at the Capitol set for Thursday, April 6th from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Enjoy a day meeting with our state representatives, and see our legislative process in action. This event is open to any member of a JCBL-participating organization.

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The Jefferson County Business Lobby advocates as the unified voice of Jefferson County businesses for public policies that strengthen our business climate. The JCBL is a partnership comprised of the Arvada, Evergreen, Golden and Westminster Chambers of Commerce, the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation and Wheat Ridge Business Association.

The Arvada Chamber’s latest bill positions can be found at arvadachamber.org/billtracker.

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