State-mandated Documentary Fee, Transfer Tax for Home Rule Municipality

State

Colorado

Year

2022

Tax Rate from Transfer Charge

The state-mandated documentary fee on deed or instrument in writing is $0.01 for each $100 of total consideration paid by the purchaser, inclusive of the amount of any lien or encumbrance against the real property granted or conveyed and all charges and expenses required to be paid for the making of such grant or conveyance, on transactions that exceed $500.

The passage of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) in 1992 explicitly prohibits new or increased transfer tax rates on real property and thus prevents additional municipalities from instituting local transfer taxes, but municipalities holding such authority prior to 14 January 1993 retain their authority under the state constitution to use the tax as imposed.

The pre-TABOR local real estate transfer taxes imposed at the option of municipalities vary from 1% through 4% of the consideration, presently including the City of Aspen, and the Towns of Avon, Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Frisco, Gypsum, Minturn, Ophir, Snowmass Village, Telluride, Vail, and Winter Park.

No state statute provides explicit local transfer tax authority. The local authority is through the state constitution's grant to home rule cities and towns the full right of self-government, the protection that the general assembly cannot assess or collect local taxes and the vestment of such power locally, and the recognition that state statutes apply except insofar as superseded by the local charters or ordinances.

Exemptions from Transfer Charge

The documentary fee does not apply to: (1) any deed wherein the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof or the state of Colorado or any political subdivision thereof is either the grantor or the grantee; (2) any deed granting or conveying title to real property in consequence of a gift of such property; 3) certain public trustee's deeds; (4) certain treasurer's deeds; (5) any sheriff's deed; (6) any instrument which confirms or corrects a deed previously recorded; (7) any deed granting or conveying title to cemetery lots; (8) any executor contract for the sale of real property of less than three years duration under which the vendee is entitled to or does take possession thereof without acquiring title thereto, nor to any assignment or cancellation of any such contract; (9) any lease of real property or assignment or transfer of an interest in any such lease; (10) any document given to secure payment of an indebtedness; (11) any document granting or conveying a future interest in real property; (12) any decree or order of a court of record determining or vesting title; (13) any document necessary to transfer title to property as a result of the death of an owner thereof; and (14) any rights-of-way and easements.

Local real estate transfer taxes exemptions vary by municipality.

Record ID

CO001_XF22

Footnotes

Revenue from the documentary fee is deposited with the county treasurer, and is used to defray the costs incurred by the county for filing, recording, and releasing title or lien on real property.

Sources

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 39-13-102 ~ 39-13-108;
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 31-2-202;
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 31-2-217 (in effect for 2022);

City of Aspen, Code of Ord. 1979, No. 20, and Code of Ord. 1990, No. 13; Town of Avon, Code of Ord. 1980, No. 6 §6; Town of Breckenridge, Code of Ord. 1980; Town of Crested Butte, Code of Ord. 1979, No. 15; Town of Frisco, Code of Ord. 1989, No. 18; Town of Gypsum, Code of Ord. 1982, No. 7 §5; Town of Minturn, Code of Ord. 1983; Town of Ophir, Code of Ord. 1979, No. 3 §4; Town of Snowmass Village, Code of Ord. 1986, No. 5 §4; Town of Telluride, Code of Ord. 1980, No. 448; Town of Vail, Code of Ord. 1979, No. 26 § 4; Town of Winter Park, Code of Ord. 1983, No. 171
Colo. Const. art. X § 7; Colo. Const. art. X § 20(8)(a);
Colo. Const. art. XX § 6(g)~(h)

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