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Glossary of Assessors Office Terms

Actual Value

The value used pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes for ad valorem or property tax purposes. The actual value is often synonymous with market value. The actual value is determined by the use of either the cost, market or income approaches to value. Colorado Revised Statutes defines or determines the specific method or procedure used, depending on the type/class of property.


An official reduction or elimination of one’s assessed valuation after completion of the original assessment. Also, defined as an official reduction or elimination of one’s tax liability after completion of the tax roll.

Ad Valorem Taxation

A tax levied in proportion to the value of the thing (s) being taxed. The property tax is an ad valorem tax.


A legal process in which a property owner contests a value or assessment either formally or informally on taxable real or personal property. For each year, there are specific statutory dates when an appeal can be made. (Please refer to the Appeal Process on this web site)

Appraisal, Complete

The act or process of estimating value or an estimate of value performed without invoking the departure provision (USPAP). Also, the act of estimating the monetary value of the property.

Appraisal Date

Property is valued based upon how the property exists (property characteristics) as of January 1 of each year. However, the value of the property, or level of value, must reflect the value established on the last day of the data collection period (June 30) for each reappraisal cycle.

Appraisal, Limited

The act or process of estimating value or an estimate of value performed under and resulting from invoking the departure provision (USPAP).

Appraisal Record (Card)

A record or card used by an assessor or appraiser on which is carried a sketch or an adequate description of its location, a list of the principal factors affecting its market value, and the calculations by which the market value is estimated. However, most assessment information and data are stored on computers, thus appraisal records are not used as much today as in previous years.


An individual or person who estimates the value of the property. Typically, one of a group of professionally skilled persons holding themselves out as experts in valuation. Appraisers for property taxation are usually licensed and certified appraisers. See “Licensing.”

Assessment or Assessed Value

The valuation used for property tax purposes. It represents the actual value of the property times the statutory assessment rate. (Example: $129,000 actual property value X 7.96% assessment rate = $10,270 assessed value.)

Assessment Date

The assessment date in Colorado is twelve noon on January 1 of each year. This date is often referred to as the lien date. See “Lien Date.”

Assessment Rate

A statutory rate or percentage which when multiplied times the actual value of the property results in the assessed value used for property tax purposes. The assessment rate for residential property is 7.96% (single-family homes, mobile homes, condominiums, townhomes, multi-family, etc.). Most other property classifications have an assessment rate of 29% (vacant land, commercial, industrial, agricultural, natural resource property, etc.).   Actual Value X Assessment Rate = Assessed Value.


The elected official whose legal responsibility is to discover, list, classify, and value (appraise) all real and personal property located in his jurisdiction.


See “Licensing”


Freedom from the property tax granted to the property in recognition or because it is taxed either directly or indirectly by other means. In essence, an exemption is a reduction in the property tax base. Various types of exemptions allowed in Colorado pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes. According to Colorado Revised Statutes, all property in Colorado is taxable unless specifically exempt by statute.


Geographic Information Systems. Refers to a database management system used to store, retrieve, manipulate, analyze, and display spatial information.


A legal definition or term used to describe all buildings, structures, pools, fences, etc., fixed to the land.

Intervening Year

A term used exclusively in Colorado for ad valorem taxation (property taxation) which refers to the year between mandated reappraisal years. Colorado is on a two-year cycle, the first year being the Reappraisal Year and the second year the Intervening Year. The Intervening Year occurs during even calendar years. (Please refer to Colorado Revised Statutes for more specific information.)


The total amount of money to be raised from the property tax as set forth in the budget of a taxing jurisdiction. Also, referred to as the millage rate or the property tax bill sent to an individual property owner. The levy or mill levy is multiplied times the assessed value of a property to determine the amount of taxes due. For example, 87.925 mill levy times $15,000 assessed valuation would equal $ 1,318.87 property tax. See “Mill Levy.”


A mandatory requirement placed upon appraisers to value property for a specified purpose. Typically,   appraisers are regulated through a state licensing board requiring appraisers to meet educational, experience, and certification requirements to appraise various classifications of property.

Lien Date

The date on which an obligation, such as a property tax bill, attaches to property, and thus the property becomes security for the lien.

Mill Levy

See “Levy”

Mobile Homes

Mobile Homes are classified and valued as residential property.

Notice of Valuation

An official document notifying the owner of the proposed actual and/or assessed valuation. Notices of Valuations are required to be mailed on or before May 1st of each year.

Personal Property

Consists of every kind of property that is not real property. It is a usually movable property without damage to itself or real estate. Personal property is typically divided into tangible and intangible. In Colorado, it usually refers to movable items not permanently affixed to, or part of, the real estate and is commonly known as “personalty” or “chattels.” See Personal Property


Consists of the interests, benefits, and rights inherent in the ownership of land plus anything permanently attached to the land or legally defined as immovable. It is also considered as “real estate” which commonly includes land and any improvements. Often referred to as “realty.”

Property Tax

See “Ad Valorem Taxation”

Real Estate

Land and improvements to the land.

Real Property

Refers to the interest, benefits, and rights inherent in the ownership of the physical real estate.

Reappraisal Year

A term used in Colorado which refers to the mandatory year in which all property must be valued or reappraised for property tax purposes. Reappraisal years occur during each odd calendar year.

Special Assessments

Direct charges which are against the property, but not included in the Assessor’s valuation. For example, street improvement, curb, and gutter, sewer, etc.

Tax Base

Total assessed value in a given tax district or taxing authority.

Tax Rate

The rate in dollars which when applied to each $1,000 of assessed value will give the tax amount. Rates vary from one district to another depending on the tax base and the needs of the people in that district or jurisdiction.

Tax Warrant or Tax Roll

A compilation or summary of all taxable real and personal property and its value. The tax roll typically includes name, address, legal, assessed values, levy, and other pertinent information.

Tax Year

Most governmental jurisdictions or taxing authorities operate on a calendar year basis. The calendar year begins January 1 and ends December 31 of each year.


Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. The annual publication of the Appraisal Standards Board of The Appraisal Foundation: “These standards deal with the procedures to be followed in performing an appraisal, review or consulting service and the manner in which an appraisal, review or consulting service is communicated STANDARD 6 sets forth criteria for the development and reporting of mass appraisals for ad valorem tax purposes or any other universe of properties.”


Leslie Bugg, Assessor
Montezuma County Assessor
140 West Main Street, Suite 3
Cortez, CO 81321
Phone: (970) 565-3428
FAX: (970) 565-1247
Leslie Bugg Assessor

County Assessor

Leslie Bugg

Business Personal Property

Leslie Bugg
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