Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Property Taxes

Posted by: Rick

One of the reasons we can't retire in New Jersey is the property taxes. Our house here is roughly equal to what we had in Ft Collins, CO before we moved. And, the property taxes are about four times as much. On a fixed income in retirement? Just not possible.

So, I was pretty disappointed to get the Larimer County assessment of our property values at the cabin this year. Our taxes up there will go up by about $400 per year, or about 25% assuming the mill levy stays the same. 

We are very remote and there are no "comps" to use for valuation. So, I think they value our property in comparison to sales in Red Feather Lakes. Okay, our legal address is Red Feather Lakes, but we are miles and miles away over a mountain ridge. There is no comparison. They have paved roads. Year around access. Electricity. A post office! We have none of that.

I've protested, of course. But, don't expect any relief. A neighbor protested several years ago, going all the way to a hearing in Denver. The local assessor did not show up, but called in and testified by phone. She insisted that the use of solar panels for electicity was a "homeowner's choice" and that the last time she was in Sand Creek Park she saw power poles. Also, that every time she'd gone up there the roads had been open. That is just crazy. There are no power poles for miles and miles. And, if she'd come up in the winter, she'd see that the roads are all closed and not maintained.

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