Sunday, January 25, 2015

BOMA San Francisco Members Meet with Assessor Carmen Chu

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Government Affairs Committee members have been meeting with public officials recently to represent your interests.  Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu spoke to our members in early January to discuss a recent 441D request and her department's efforts to increase efficiency for the benefit of all property owners in the City .  Here is a brief update from the gathering:

Department Performance

  • Assessor Chu is focused on improving the technology used in the department as it is outdated.
    • There are limited options for off-the-shelf software for assessors to replace the current system, AS400.  She wants to invest in the right program and will take the time to be sure the option selected is the most appropriate. 
  • 29 new people have been hired to increase work-flow.
    • New hires a key although promoting from within the Department is a priority.  
      • Without the right employees, services suffers. 
    • New Director of Information Technology was recently hired.
  • There is a parcel property file scanning plan for the digitization of older files.
  • Almost every service category within the Department (e.g., reassessments) are down.
New Revenue
  • Chu has been and continues to review revenue options from sources other than the general fund.
    • E.g., state grants.

  • The Assessor is working on having a smarter on appeal process: no drop offs.  Assessment appeals are staff intensive work and sometimes the appeal is dropped.  Appeals board is a "gotcha situation," according to Chu, on both sides.  
    • There is not much information on property valuation.  Trying to work with the property owners more to help them help the Department and to move towards a more transparent system for both the property owner and assessor.    
  • BOMA members kindly request faster reassessments for tax purposes.
441D Letter - Letter Requesting Annual Report of Tenants, Rent Roll, and Leases
  • Detailed information about the requirements sent to select property owners can be found here.
    • The most recent letter went to approximately 800 property owners.  The missive is sent in cycles throughout the year.
  • The Assessor needs better data from property owners and businesses.
  • A tenant list is needed for required information that must be reported to the Assessor.  As such, the Assessor requests that business owners to file a 571L form - Business Property Statement.
  • Rent roll request
    • The Department is looking for revenue generated in individual buildings to distinguish the different tenants in the marketplace.

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