Valuation and Taxation
Documentary Fee on Conveyances of Real Property
39-13-101. Legislative declaration.
(1) The general assembly declares that, in enacting laws relating to the general property tax, it has provided that certain property in each county of the state shall be appraised and the actual value thereof determined by the assessor and that one of the several factors to be considered by him in determining the actual value of any property shall be “comparison with other properties of known or recognized value”.
(2) It further declares that such comparison may be best effected if there is available to the assessor a continuing record of the consideration paid or to be paid by purchasers of real property evidenced, prior to recording, on the document conveying title to such property and recorded in the office of the county clerk and recorder in the several counties of the state in the manner provided by law and that this article is enacted to provide a means of developing such continuing record and making such record available for use primarily by assessors.
39-13-102. Documentary fee imposed – amount – to whom payable.
(1) There is imposed and shall be paid, by every person offering for recording in the office of the county clerk and recorder any deed or instrument in writing wherein or whereby title to real property situated in this state is granted or conveyed, a fee, referred to in this article as “documentary fee”, measured by the consideration paid or to be paid for such grant or conveyance, which documentary fee shall be in addition to any other fee fixed by law for the recording of such deed or instrument in writing.
(2) The amount of documentary fee payable in each case shall be as follows:
(a) When there is no consideration or when the 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 is five hundred dollars or less, no documentary fee shall be payable.
(b) When the 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 exceeds five hundred dollars, the documentary fee payable shall be computed at the rate of one cent for each one hundred dollars, or major fraction thereof, of such consideration.
(3) All documentary fees shall be payable to and collected by the county clerk and recorder.
(4) In those cases in which real property located in two or more counties is granted or conveyed in a single transaction, each county clerk and recorder shall collect a portion of the total documentary fee referred to in subsection (2) of this section in the same ratio that the consideration fairly attributable to the part of such property located in his county bears to the total consideration. The allocation of the total consideration between counties is to be made by the person offering such deed or instrument in writing for recording.
(5) (a) For the purposes of determining the documentary fee in accordance with subsection (2) of the section, the amount of consideration paid for the grant or conveyance of residential real property, inclusive of liens, charges, and expenses, is the amount listed on the grant or conveyance document; except that, if there is no consideration amount listed on the grant or conveyance document or the amount listed is five hundred dollars or less, and there is a related declaration filed in accordance with section 39-14-102, then the amount of consideration paid is the total sales price listed on the declaration.
(b) In determining the amount of consideration paid for the grant or conveyance of commercial or industrial real property, inclusive of liens, charges, and expenses, the total amount of the sales price to the purchaser shall be deemed to be paid for the grant or conveyance of real property unless evidence of the separate consideration paid for personal property is submitted as shown on the purchaser’s use tax return as filed with the department of revenue or unless evidence of such separate consideration is shown on the declaration filed pursuant to the provisions of section 39-14-102.
(c) Any such evidence submitted under paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection (5) shall not be recorded or filed by the county clerk and recorder and shall not be subject to public inspection but shall be sent to the county assessor. Such evidence shall be used by the assessor as required by section 39-13-107 but shall be kept confidential and shall not be subject to public inspection.
(d) Solely for the purpose of computing the documentary fee, the property conveyed by a deed or other instrument will be regarded as residential unless the deed or other instrument includes a conspicuous statement or notation that the property is not to be regarded as residential. This provision does not authorize the alteration of a deed or other instrument after it has been executed.
39-13-103. Evidence of payment of fee.
Each county clerk and recorder shall evidence payment of the documentary fee imposed in this article in the recording annotation or by imprinting, typing, stamping, or writing in ink on the margin or other blank portion of every document to which such fee applies the words “State Documentary Fee”, the amount of documentary fee paid, and the date upon which paid, which impression or notation shall be made on such document before it is recorded.
(1) The documentary fee imposed in this article shall not apply to:
(a) 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; except that, at the time such entity offers a deed for recording in the office of the county clerk and recorder, it shall file an affidavit with the clerk stating the consideration paid or to be paid for such grant or conveyance. If the entity imprints, types, stamps, or writes in ink on the margin or other blank portion of the document the consideration paid or to be paid for such grant or conveyance, it shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of an affidavit.
(b) Any deed granting or conveying title to real property in consequence of a gift of such property;
(c) Any public trustee’s deed executed pursuant to the provisions of section 38-38-501, C.R.S.;
(d) Any treasurer’s deed executed in accordance with the provisions of article 11 of this title;
(e) Any sheriff’s deed;
(f) Any instrument which confirms or corrects a deed previously recorded;
(g) Any deed granting or conveying title to cemetery lots;
(h) Any executory 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;
(i) Any lease of real property or assignment or transfer of an interest in any such lease;
(j) Any document given to secure payment of an indebtedness;
(k) Any document granting or conveying a future interest in real property;
(l) Any decree or order of a court of record determining or vesting title;
(m) Any document necessary to transfer title to property as a result of the death of an owner thereof;
(o) Any rights-of-way and easements.
(2) Exemption from payment of the documentary fee imposed in this article must be claimed at the time a deed or instrument is offered for recording.
39-13-105. No deed recorded unless documentary fee paid.
No deed or instrument in writing to which a documentary fee applies shall be recorded until and unless the documentary fee payable thereon has been paid and evidence of its payment has been imprinted, typed, stamped, or written in ink thereon as provided in section 39-13-103. Any county clerk and recorder who willfully and knowingly records any document to which a documentary fee applies without having first collected such fee and evidenced payment thereof as provided in this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of fifty dollars.
39-13-106. Unlawful acts – penalty.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to commit the following acts:
(a) To fail or refuse to pay the documentary fee imposed in this article when such payment is required;
(b) To willfully and knowingly recite to the county clerk and recorder a consideration greater or less than the actual consideration referred to in section 39-13-102 (2) (a) and (2) (b) in connection with the granting or conveying of title to real property by any deed or instrument in writing to which the documentary fee applies.
(2) Any person who commits either of the acts set forth in subsection (1) of this section commits an unclassified misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars.
39-13-107. Assessor to compile continuing record.
It is the duty of each assessor to examine at least once each year all documents recorded in his county upon which a documentary fee has been paid and to determine in each case the consideration upon which such fee was computed and paid. He shall compile and maintain in his office a continuing record of all such considerations to assist him in appraising property and determining the actual value thereof as required by the provisions of section 39-1-103 (5).
39-13-108. Disposition of fees.
All documentary fees collected by the county clerk and recorder shall be deposited with the treasurer at least once each month and credited by him in the manner prescribed by law.