1303 Frontage Holdings LLC v. Larimer County Board of Equalization.
2023 CO 28. No. 22S800. Property Taxation—Unusual Conditions—Assessment Date—Commercial Property—Taxpayer Standing—Statutory Interpretation—COVID-19—Public Health Orders.
May 30, 2023
In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether commercial taxpayers have a statutory right to compel county tax assessors to revalue their properties for 2020 when COVID-19 and the public health orders that followed in March 2020 allegedly decreased their property values. Because article 1 of title 39 defines January 1 as the annual assessment date for Colorado’s biennial property tax system for all provisions in the tax scheme except where the legislature expressly specifies an exception, the Court concluded they do not. The Court further held that to compel a property tax revaluation in the intervening year (i.e., the second year in the tax reassessment cycle), the taxpayer bears the burden of proving that an “unusual condition” existing under CRS § 39-1-104(11)(b)(I) impacted their property, and that the assessed value was incorrect. Consistent with the Court’s decisions in MJB Motels, LLC v. Cnty. of Jefferson Bd. of Equalization, 2023 CO 26, __P.3d__, and Hunter Douglas Inc. v. City and Cnty. of Broomfield Bd. of Equalization, 2023 CO 27, __P.3d __, also issued on May 30, 2023, the Court concluded that COVID-19 and the public health orders that followed did not qualify as unusual conditions under § 39-4-104(11)(b)(I).
Accordingly, the Court reversed the district court’s order and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.