15 minutes with Arapahoe assessor Corbin Sakdol

Valuations for more than 200,000 county properties recently mailed

Posted 5/7/09

Spring is a busy time every two years for Arapahoe County Assessor Corbin Sakdol. His office recently mailed detailed notices of property valuation …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

15 minutes with Arapahoe assessor Corbin Sakdol

Valuations for more than 200,000 county properties recently mailed


Spring is a busy time every two years for Arapahoe County Assessor Corbin Sakdol. His office recently mailed detailed notices of property valuation to more than 200,000 people who own property in the county.

The culmination of mass mailings came almost a year after Sakdol’s staff began sorting through sales records and other documents to determine what every piece of property in the county is worth.

The notices, which should have been received by now, include the county’s assessment for property-tax collection purposes. Residential valuation notices also include photos and information about five recently sold nearby and similar properties.

By state statute, property in Colorado is appraised by the county assessor during odd-numbered years. Values were assigned based on the sale of similar properties during an 18-month period, Jan. 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008.

That may make the valuations seem out of date since the housing market has changed considerably during the last year. Some property owners will notice an increase in their official values, even though the overall market has declined.

Those who wish to appeal the findings of their valuations must do so by June 1.

Colorado Community Newspapers recently spoke with Sakdol about the process.

CCN: Tell us a little about what goes into creating these valuations.

Sakdol: We do commercial, residential and agricultural, being that Arapahoe County goes halfway to Kansas. It’s a two-year process. Of course, it’s important that everybody understands that we have to live by the law that says we use market data from 2007 through the first half of 2008. So any current market activity, the law does not allow us to consider.

CCN: That’s counterintuitive, isn’t it? Given the nature of the economy and the real estate market, it would make sense that you’d use the most current data to establish someone’s property tax bill.

Sakdol: It would, but being that assessors have to deal with such a large amount of properties — I think we mailed out 208,000 notices of valuation — if our appraisal date was very close to May 1, 2009, there would be no possible way to crunch that data. So there has to be some time after that appraisal date to crunch the data.

CCN: Isn’t the effect inaccurate information to a certain extent?

Sakdol: It’s not inaccurate information. It’s old information. The information is still accurate, but it’s accurate as of a certain appraisal date.

CCN: Can a property owner’s appeal be based on the fact that the appraisal is effectively out of date?

Sakdol: The law is very specific and it does not allow us to consider that.

CCN: You run into a few upset people, I’d imagine.

Sakdol: Now remember, when we went through many years of the values going up, it was the opposite effect. We had a cycle where a Realtor didn’t even have time to put a “For Sale” sign in the yard because the property would sell. And so again, that lag was still there. By the time we sent out our notices of valuation, our value was probably too low.

We would like to be as current as possible because it is frustrating to the taxpayers and it is confusing to the taxpayers. We are administrators of the law. We don’t set the law. The Legislature tells us that we have to do it this way.

CCN: Because we’re talking about property taxes, this is the one time when property owners actually want to see their property values go down.

Sakdol: (laughs) Yes, but we have had people in the past who have come in and said, “I would like it to be higher.” It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve done this for 19 years and it does happen, and it is kind of surprising. If they appeal their value, we’re going to relook at their value, regardless of if they want it to go up or go down.

What I encourage people to do is if they’re selling their house, hire a professional real estate broker that will look at the current market and list their home for a price that is a current market, not an old market.

CCN: What are examples of situations in which someone has successfully appealed their property values?

Sakdol: Typically, it’s condition. Being that there’s no possible way nor are we invited to look inside every single property, there may be issues where maybe it’s been built in 1960 and they’ve never changed anything and it’s in poor condition. We can send out an appraiser and do an inspection of the property.

CCN: How many appeals do you expect to get this year?

Sakdol: In 2007, we had 4.9 percent of our properties appeal. I think it’s going to be less than that this year. That’s less than the average among metro counties. Arapahoe County in 2007 had the second-lowest appeals.

CCN: How many of the appeals are successful?

Sakdol: Probably about 50 percent. Typically, we’re not hearing from the people where the value is right and fair.

CCN: Is it ever awkward when your staff is determining the value of your home?

Sakdol: Well, I’ll tell you. My house went up in value.

CCN: Are you going to appeal?

Sakdol: No, it’s fair. I looked at the five comps on the back of mine too and I went “wow” (laughs).

Sakdol’s office offers property owners a variety of methods to appeal their valuations. Appeals can be filed by mail, fax or in person at two locations:

Arapahoe County Administration Building, 5334 S. Prince St. in Littleton

CentrePoint Plaza, 14980 E. Alameda Drive, Suite 110 in Aurora

Appeals by mail or fax will be accepted at the Littleton or Aurora locations and must be postmarked or received by fax no later than June 1, 2009. The same deadline applies to in-person appeals.

Residential property owners have the option of appealing online by completing the Residential Appeal Form found on the county’s Web site, co.arapahoe.co.us.

The Web site can also be used to obtain information, file residential property appeals and schedule residential appointments.


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.