Here’s how much property taxes went up on average in Summit County — and what homeowners can do to seek relief

A Summit Daily News analysis found that, on average, taxes on residential properties rose half as much as the increase in value

Robert Tann/Summit Daily News
The Wildernest neighborhood near Silverthorne is pictured on Jan. 25, 2024. A surge in home values over the past two years have caused residential property taxes to jump — but not necessarily by the same amount. An analysis shows average property tax bills increased by around 30% from 2023 to 2024 while residential property rose in value by roughly 60%.
Robert Tann/Summit Daily News

The moment Summit County homeowners have long been bracing for has arrived property tax notices have hit their doorsteps. 

Driven by a surge in home values, property taxes rose for most Colorado homeowners in 2024, prompting a scramble by the state legislature to pass some form of relief. In Summit County, residential property value increased on average by 63% since the last valuation cycle in 2021. 

But whether that’s translated to a similar rise in property taxes depends on where homeowners live. 

According to Summit County Treasurer Kathy Neal, property tax revenue in 2024 was $195 million, up from $149 million in 2023. That includes taxes on all types of property including residential, commercial and vacant land and represents a 30% increase. 

“There is no question that for many in Summit County, 30% is unaffordable,” said Commissioner Tamara Pogue, adding that other cost increases driven by inflation have created a compounding effect. 

Still, for residential homes, the average property tax bill appears to have grown less than the average assessment value. 

Because property taxes are based also on the taxes collected by local organizations like county governments, schools, fire and sanitation districts, the bills homeowners will pay vary wildly. These taxes are called mill levies and are set at different amounts by each taxing entity. One mill represents a $1 payment on every $1,000 of assessed value. 

In Summit County, the average total mill for all taxing entities is 70.672 for property tax bills to be paid this year, down from 77.547 for property tax bills paid in 2023, according to data from the Summit County Assessor’s Office. 

That’s because some mills are set at a fixed dollar amount and will decrease when property tax revenue is higher. This was the case for Summit County government’s mill, which naturally decreased by 2.8% for bills to be paid in 2024. County commissioners contemplated a further reduction under state legislation passed last year that allows local taxing entities to temporarily lower their mills — but they ultimately decided against it

Colorado Mountain College is one organization that did use that authority to reduce its mill levy, which also factors into why the overall average mills in the county is lower. 

When accounting for the average increase in residential value, the current average mill levy, the statewide assessment rate and the property tax relief provided by state legislation last year, Summit County homeowners are seeing a smaller tax increase compared to the increase in valuations, a Summit Daily News analysis shows. 

What did increases look like on average?

Using a digital calculator built by The Colorado Sun, the Summit Daily was able to produce tax bills for a range of homes. 

For example, a home valued at $500,000 in 2021 would be paying $2,623 in property taxes in 2023. That’s calculated by multiplying the value with the statewide assessment rate, which in bills to be paid in 2023 was 6.765%, as well as any mill levies that property pays into. If looking at the average combined mill, it would be 77.547. 

For bills to be paid in 2024, if that same home rose by the average increase in value, 63%, it would have been assessed at $815,000. That would then be multiplied by the statewide rate which, for tax bills paid in 2024, fell slightly to 6.7% as part of property tax relief legislation that went into effect at the end of last year. 

That legislation also included a $55,000 exemption in home value from taxation, which would be factored into this property tax bill under this scenario. Finally, that figure would be multiplied by mill levies which, if just looking at the average for bills paid in 2024, were slightly lower at 70.672. That produces a property tax bill of $3,598 — a $975 increase, or 27% jump, from the 2023 tax bill. 

Homes with higher values that saw larger appreciations would have also seen higher property taxes. 

Using the same formula, a $1 million home that increased in value to $1.63 million, a 63% increase, would have paid $5,246 in property taxes in 2023 and $7,457 in 2024 — a $2,211 tax increase, or a 30% jump. 

A $2 million home now valued at $3.26 million would have paid $10,492 in property taxes in 2024 and $15,175 in 2023 — a $4,683 increase, or a 31% jump. 

For Pogue, the county commissioner, the figures show there was some success at the local and state level in dampening property tax bills. 

“Certainly my hat and my credit goes to entities like (Colorado Mountain College), which significantly decreased their mills,” Pogue said. 

Still, these figures represent averages and are not reflective of every property tax bill in the county. Depending on the exact mill levies a home pays and the valuation increase in that property, taxes could be higher or lower than the average increase. 

Property taxes will also be different for commercial properties and vacant land, which are currently taxed at a statewide assessment rate of 27.9% — quadruple that of residential properties. 

These properties also saw different average increases in value compared to residential properties. Vacant land, for example, increased on average by 90% in Summit County, meaning taxes on those properties are likely to be much higher than on homes. 

Property taxes for deed-restricted homes, which come with a wide variety of stipulations that can include appreciation caps, will also be varied based on the rules for each deed restriction. 

Pogue, who currently sits on a state-commissioned task force exploring property tax reform, said she hopes to see more solutions for cost-burdened homeowners. 

As the lone commissioner to support a larger mill levy reduction at the county level, Pogue said the effort could be revisited in this year’s budget talks. But she’s also looking at the potential impacts of state bills like S.B. 24-00, which, if enacted into law, would allow counties the ability to provide property tax rebates for homeowners. Pogue said it could be a tool to support homeowners who offer long-term rentals to working residents. 

Another measure being explored by the property tax commission would stretch the valuation cycle for homes beyond the current two years. 

“You see these sorts of peaks and valleys from assessment cycle to assessment cycle. We saw it in reverse in 2008 when we saw a significant decrease in our property values,” Pogue said, adding that extending the two-year timeline “means that the tax payers are seeing more of an average increase” and less volatility. 

“Does it totally (fix) the problem? No,” Pogue said. “But does it sort of soothe out the problem over a number of years? Yes, potentially.” 

What relief programs are there for homeowners?

Robert Tann/Summit Daily News
Homes in Wildernest pictured on Jan. 25, 2024. A a 19-member commission seeking solutions to Colorado’s rising property taxes is set to present policy recommendations to the Colorado governor and state legislature in March. The recommendations could be adopted by lawmakers before the end of the legislative session in May. 
Robert Tann/Summit Daily News

While those property tax proposals could be in the near or distant future, current programs exist to provide homeowners some relief this year or next. 

Homeowners who’ve seen more than a 4% increase in their property taxes over the past two years may be eligible to defer their payments under the state’s Property Tax Deferral Program. 

The initiative allows homeowners the ability to defer up to $10,000 in property tax payments that are then paid back to the state with interest. Deferrals can be spread across multiple years until homeowners hit the $10,000 cap while seniors and active military can defer every year of homeownership with no cap. 

“In many places, you’re seeing 30%, 40%, 50% (property tax bill) increases,” said Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young. “Clearly, people are going to be eligible for this, but whether or not they take advantage of this is a financial decision they’re going to have to meet.”

Young stressed the program is “not free money” but rather a loan paid by the state. Because local taxing entities like counties and school districts rely heavily on property taxes to provide services, the state government backfills them while it waits for repayment. 

Interest isn’t compounding, but it does change based on federal rates which have increased. The current interest rate for the program is 4.125%. 

Young said homeowners considering the program should ensure they’re in a financial position to repay their taxes, adding that deferring is meant to help residents experiencing a temporary financial hardship, such as the loss of a job. 

“We don’t want people to lose their homes because of these property taxes,” Young said. “If they’re experiencing monetary hardship, this can be a great safety valve until their finances catch up again.”

Applications are due April 1. Eligible property owners must be applying for their primary residence and cannot be using that home for financial gain, meaning second-home owners who short-term rent, for example, wouldn’t be able to apply. 

More information is available online at

Property owners have two options for paying their property taxes this year. They can split their payments into two sums, the first of which is due by Feb. 29 and the second by June 15. Taxes can also be paid in full, with those payments due on April 30.

At the local level, county assessor’s offices process two relief programs for seniors and veterans and their spouses. Both programs must receive applications the year before their taxes are due in order for the relief to be applied to that tax bill, meaning applicants this year could see lower tax bills in 2025. 

The Colorado Senior Property Tax Exemption is for seniors who are at least 65 years old by Jan. 1 of the qualifying tax year, meaning a senior who turns 65 later this year will not be eligible to apply until Jan. 1 2025. The applicant must have owned their home for 10 years or more and that home must be their primary residence. 

The program exempts $100,000 in home value from taxation. Summit County seniors can apply through the Summit County Assessor’s Office and must send their application in by July 15 for it to be approved for the 2025 tax bill. 

The office also handles applications for the Veteran Property Tax Exemption. Like the senior exemption, it removes $100,000 in home value from taxation, said Summit County Assessor Lisa Eurich. 

The program is for veterans with a disability rated by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs as 100% permanent or for those who are completely medically retired, meaning they have a medical condition that makes them unable to serve. 

“If somebody owns multiple properties, only one can qualify for the exemption and that would be their primary residence,” Eurich said. 

Unlike the senior exemption, veterans only need to have lived at their primary residence for at least one year. Spouses of veterans who previously received the exemption and have since died are also eligible to receive it on their property tax bill, Eurich added. 

The deadline to apply for that program is July 1. 

More information on both the senior and veteran exemption is available on the Summit County Assessor’s website at

This article was written by Robert Tann for Summit Daily News 

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