Tuesday, May 12, 2009

(Property) Tax Protest

We've been here for three years now, and each year it seems we're traveling when our tax assessment papers come with the little caveat that we have a two week window to protest the amount of the tax assessment. We do, of course, have to pay our property taxes based on the tax assessment. Every year we get home and realize that we've missed that window of opportunity. This year we got the blessed little thing before we left.

Today John took me to City Hall in Fort Collins. He sat in the car while I went inside and walked up to the assessor's window. I gave them a winning smile and said, "Hi. I'm a protestor." The guy at the window asked if I was there to protest the amount of my assessment. He looked amused by my wording, not annoyed, so I felt good. He signed me in and I had a seat, expecting to wait. Five minutes later I was ushered into the inner sanctum.

I had written a letter, made copies of our homeowners' documentation and the MLS sheet from the original sale of the home. I was so organized. Did she want that stuff? Not really, although she was happy to see that I had it, she said, "... in case we need it. Let's just talk first." 

It took about fifteen minutes before I was out of there. The house was reassessed at the purchase value, and we'll not only save money on our property taxes next year, but in about a month we'll be getting an overpayment check back from them for excessive property taxes already paid. I sure wish I knew how much that will be. 

I'm continually surprised by how things work here in the Loveland area. I went in expecting an argument. I was anticipating a long wait, irritation, and at best to be told that they'd get back to me in a few weeks. If I haven't mentioned this before, I've never been so happy living anywhere else. This is the life—the good life.

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