A mill levy has nothing to do with a manufacturing mill, the term million, or a levee that holds back the waters of a river. To some, the term “mill levy” may be a point of confusion. What exactly is a mill levy, and what is its purpose for Pueblo West? A mill levy is an assessed property tax rate employed by local governments to raise revenue in order to cover for annual expenses. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 dollars of assessed property value. With origins in Latin where one percent is one part of one hundred, one mill is one part of one thousand.

Pueblo West’s current assessed mill levy rate of 20.193 translates to roughly $20.19 for every $1000 of assessed property value. The mill levy rate for Colorado is calculated by taking the actual property value and multiplying it by the assessment rate, set by the state of Colorado. For a residential property, this rate is currently 7.96%, and 29% for commercial property. This gives the assessed value, which is then multiplied by the decimal version of the mill rate—in the example of Pueblo West Metropolitan District government alone, this would be 0.20193. The resulting value is the taxes due for your property. Note that your tax rate or mill levy in Pueblo West might include multiple taxing districts such as school and county rates in addition to the Pueblo West Metro District rate. Currently, the residential assessment rate of 7.96% is the lowest in over 30 years. Prior to 1983, the residential rate was 30%.

Simply put, mill levies are one funding mechanism utilized by governments to cover a variety of expenses and operating costs. Over time, as communities grow and change, it may become necessary to change the mill levy to best accommodate changes. For decades, a governing body such as a city council or the Pueblo West Board of Directors could raise or lower the mill levy rate with a vote of the board. Since 1992, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), requires changes to a mill to go before the public for a vote. As a special district, Pueblo West does not collect sales tax like a city or a county. Therefore the mill levy serves as a primary funding mechanism for services provided to Pueblo West residents such as parks and recreation, fire service, and street and road maintenance.

For more information about this subject, please contact:
Jay-Michael Baker
Community Engagement Manager
Pueblo West Metropolitan District
jbaker@pwmd-co.us
(719) 547-5012

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