El Paso County Assessor holds town hall for 177 Fire victims

Posted at 10:40 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 00:40:45-04

Monday night, victims of the 117 fire having their questions answered from county officials.

The county assessor says he has received a lot of questions similar to those from the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires about how this will affect property taxes.

It’s not an easy subject to talk about for some of these people, who lost everything.

Their property values may go down, and they’ll also have to pay taxes on structures–even ones that were destroyed–for the roughly four months in 2018 that they were standing.

Taxpayers directly affected will receive property tax relief in the future.

The county assessor says destroyed properties will also be removed from the assessment records on January 1, 2019.

A lot of questions asked during the meeting, though, had nothing to do with taxes.

News5 spoke with a handful of people, affected by the fire, who say taxes are on the last things on their minds right now.

"What we’re worried about is whether our animals have a barn or our neighbor has a home–that’s what we’re worried about because we are a big community and it’s a really tight knit community," said Terry , who lost her business front. 

"Clean up crews would be great," said TJ Lippert, who lost his barn, pasture, and fencing in the fire.

"One of the gentleman I talked to is so stressed out right now because his property is in shambles.  He’s 80 years old.  He can’t do a whole lot, and he can’t clean up his whole property," Lippert added.

We’re told some of these property owners were on a fixed income–and therefore, opted for the cheapest insurance policy. 

Some didn’t have any insurance.

If you were not able to attend the meeting, but still have questions for the county, click here.