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Panic over property taxes: Pay now or pay more later

Author: Kara Mason - January 4, 2018 - Updated: January 4, 2018

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(iStock image / cbies)

The last days of 2017 were hectic for one Arapahoe County agency, as President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

By the end of last week, the Arapahoe County Treasurer’s Office had collected around $20 million more in early property tax payments than it had the year prior. With Trump’s signing of the GOP tax plan, a number of residents were about to lose some of their federal deduction for local taxes paid in the new year, so they rushed in to prepay them before Jan. 1.

Under the revamped tax code, state and local tax deductions are now capped on federal tax returns at $10,000.

Lines to pay property taxes stretched out the door, a news release from the Arapahoe Treasurer’s Office said. Treasurer Sue Sandstrom said it was an “extraordinary effort,” as the bulk of those payments poured in over just four days, from Dec. 26 through Dec. 29.

“The Treasurer’s Office was pleased to provide the additional services to the many taxpayers who chose to prepay their property taxes,” Treasurer Sue Sandstrom said in a statement. “With extraordinary effort and team work by the treasurer’s staff, all taxpayers who came into the office, called in on the phone, or contacted us by email, had received the services they requested. This is a perfect example of how Arapahoe County takes seriously our pledge of First in Service.”

Other places across the state and country experienced a similar turnout last week. By last Wednesday, the Denver Post reported, 900 taxpayers had dropped by the county courthouse to pay property taxes. Washington, D.C., collected more than $50 million in property taxes from 7,500 taxpayers, according to The Hill newspaper.

Kara Mason

Kara Mason

Kara Mason covers southern Colorado, Aurora and statewide issues for ColoradoPolitics.com. She also writes for the Aurora Sentinel.