Tax collection rate highest in 34 years

Grand County’s 2019 property tax collection rate reached almost 97% and was the highest in at least 34 years, according to Grand County Treasurer Chris Kauffman.

“This is great news for local taxpayers, because when the tax collection rate increases, the tax rate decreases and taxpayers save money,” said Kauffman in an email.

According to a report he presented to the Grand County Council Wednesday, Feb. 4, the increasing collection rate will save taxpayers approximately $173,000 this year.

Additionally, if the collection rate had stayed at 2014 levels, an additional $1.3 million would have been charged over the past five years. Kauffman attributes the increase to multiple factors, including a generally healthy local economy, but said that his office has also been proactive.

“Even though taxes are due Nov. 30, payments made in December still improve the collection rate. So, we send a postcard to all delinquent taxpayers as quickly as possible and we also call or email those who owe the most,” he said. “These efforts have brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

According to Kauffman, taxpayers are increasingly paying electronically and signing up to have their taxes automatically paid from their account. “Convenient payment options are helping people stay caught up,” he said.

In his report, Kauffman also highlighted a new service where taxpayers can receive their bill via email instead of the postal mail. “Electronic notices are a great option for some property owners and it will save county resources. Paying property tax isn’t anybody’s favorite thing to do, but it’s my job to try and make it as painless and efficient as possible.”