A moved decimal point causes headaches for some property owners in Mesa County after a computer error cuts their tax rate by ten times over previous years. County Assessor Curtiss Belcher discovered the error after discovering that some agricultural property owners received notices that their land was valued at $19.87 cents an acre. It actually should have been $198.75 per acre.
Property taxes on agricultural land are set by the state based on the type of land and its' potential productivity. Tax rates on farm land in Mesa County had not been updated since 2002.
Administrators in the Assessor's Office knew there was a problem when they discovered some owners of irrigated agricultural land had a tax rate one–tenth of what it should be because a computer problem had unintentionally moved a decimal point.
Letters were sent to affected land owners. Belcher says many farmers and ranchers caught the error themselves. He says so far he's only heard of one complaint about the problem.
Appeals on property taxes are being heard throughout the month of May. You can do so in the basement of the county building at 544 Rood Avenue.
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