It is an honor to serve Los Angeles County as your 27th Assessor. In my over 25 years of public service, I have worked to be an effective and innovative leader in local government as Mayor, Councilmember, public administration professional, and Assessor.
My primary goal as your Assessor has been to build an administration that values the residents we serve and the property we assess by assembling the most professionally-staffed, technologically-advanced, and customer-friendly property assessment agency in the nation.
As you may know, the Office of the Assessor is the largest local public assessment agency in the nation, with more than 1,200 employees and an annual budget of $180 million. As the foundation for the County’s property tax system, it is responsible for establishing the value for over 2.4 million taxable parcels and nearly 300,000 business assessments, with a total roll value of $1.8 trillion.
I have made significant progress during my first two terms in office and am proud to report that I have either completed or am in the process of completing every objective I set out upon taking office, including:
- Replacement of the agency’s technology, which is a decades-old mainframe, green-screen system that was inefficient for both employees and taxpayers. The new system has already “gone live” and is transforming the way we do business. In fact, our “Assessor’s Portal” interface recently earned the Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.
- The complete digitization of more than 2 million property files, which were maintained in paper form until as late as December 2016.
- Providing property tax relief to over 50,000 small businesses! In an effort to ease the burden on small businesses and increase efficiency, the Board of Supervisors in July 2016 approved my proposal to raise the minimum threshold for reporting business property to $5,000. Previously, businesses with at least $2,000 worth of property were required to pay property taxes on these items, yet the cost of processing assessments under $5,000 exceeded the revenue that was produced.
- Reimagining the assessment appeals system, which is also hampered by outdated technology and significant case backlogs. In collaboration with the Assessment Appeals Board, I am working to implement policies and to introduce technologies that will ensure fair and expedient hearings.
- Establishment of a one-stop public service program with the Treasurer-Tax Collector and the Auditor-Controller in order to help taxpayers resolve property tax-related questions without referring them from department to department.
- The release of an unprecedented amount of data on the County’s Open Data website, making Assessor’s information free and easy to access.
- Tax savings – saved seniors, veterans, homeowners, the disabled, and non-profits over $650 million in property taxes in 2020.
- Jobs and workforce development – I have successfully launched a partnership with local community colleges to provide training for appraisers, appraiser assistants, and technicians that will create a pipeline to good-paying jobs with the County.
- Creation of a comprehensive, actively-engaged public education and customer service program that strives to answer taxpayers’ questions and promotes tax-saving programs.
- Provided leadership in a national effort to promote fairness and equality and combat racial bias in property appraisals. He worked with assessors from across the country to coordinate a plan with the White House to ensure transparency by publicizing national appraisal data.
I am committed to making the Office of the Assessor the nation’s premier property assessment agency. As your Assessor, I will ensure that this Office continues to value people and property by creating an accurate and timely assessment roll while delivering exceptional and professional public service with the highest integrity.
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Thank you for your support – with it, I cannot lose!
Assessor, County of Los Angeles