I am deeply honored to have been elected by the voters of Los Angeles County as their 27th Assessor. In my over twenty years of public service, I have worked to be an effective and innovative leader in local government, as a Mayor and Councilmember, and as a public administration professional.
I will work restore the public trust, guarantee that taxpayers are assessed fairly and provide the best public service, educate the public on services and policies that will help them, and update the department with 21st century technology that will increase efficiency, accuracy and fairness.
The Office of the Assessor is the largest local public assessment agency in the nation, with over 1,400 employees and an annual budget of $160 million. It is the foundation for the County’s property tax system and responsible for establishing the value for over 2.4 million taxable parcels and 278,000 business assessments in Los Angeles County, with a total roll value of $1.3 trillion.
I have established a number of objectives for my first term in office, including:
- The replacement of the agency’s computer systems, a project that is anticipated to take 4 years and millions of dollars to complete. The current system is a decades-old mainframe system that is inefficient for employees, as well as taxpayers; and is overly reliant on manual, paper-based processes. The Office has already initiated the electronic imaging of the 2.6 million assessment files and is developing software programs to replace the old mainframe system.
- Reimagining the assessment appeals system, which is also hampered by outdated technology and significant case backlogs. Working with the Assessment Appeals Board, I will implement policies and introduce technologies that will ensure fair and expedient hearings.
- Establishing a one-stop public service program with the Treasurer-Tax Collector and Auditor-Controller to enhance public service and cooperation among the agencies.
- The development of an Open Data program that will make Assessor’s information available and easy to access by the public.
- Requesting additional funding in the 2015/2016 budget to train new appraisers and support staff. It is essential that the Office have sufficient appraisal and support staff to ensure the accuracy and fairness of assessments and to make certain that the Office has sufficient personnel to complete a thorough and accurate Assessment Roll.
- The creation of a comprehensive and actively engaged public education and custom service program that will help taxpayers with their inquiries and promote the programs and services provided by the Office of the Assessor.
In keeping with our vision, I am committed to making the Office of the Assessor the premier property assessment agency in the nation. As Assessor, I will ensure that the 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.
Assessor, County of Los Angeles