BOMA San Francisco leaders recently met with San Francisco Assessor-Recorder, Carmen Chu.
Our members last met with Assessor Chu in 2015 and we were honored to welcome her again to provide an update of the improvements the Department has made over the last year, and to inform our members of a few challenges:
- At this time in 2015, there were approximately 5000 outstanding assessment cases; there are 1000 now.
- They have a brand new, customer focused, website.
- There are about 12000 outstanding new construction projects which is unprecedented. The Assessor is required to calculate the economic impact of each project.
- They need to hire more people or they will be further behind.
- Physical files abound but they have made significant improvements with their digital scanning project that will improve workflow.
- Assessor Chu is progressing with her goal to remove the paperwork that is sent in. In fact, all physical paperwork received is now immediately scanned.
- Improving technology is still a challenge.
- There are limited options for off-the-shelf software for assessors to replace the current system. She wants to invest in the right program and will take the time to be sure the option selected is the most appropriate.
Carmen Chu was re-elected on November 4, 2014, to serve as the Assessor-Recorder for the City and County of San Francisco, and is committed to making government work for the people of San Francisco.
The work that the Office of the Assessor-Recorder does helps to generate over one-third of the City’s General Fund revenue—revenue which is used to fund crucial services like fire, police, neighborhood improvements, and health & family support services.
Since taking office, Chu has prioritized customer service and office efficiency. Beginning in 2013, she implemented e-Recording, which allows submitters to record documents from the convenience of their office or home. Chu has secured resources to address the increase in workload generated by historic highs in assessment appeals. This additional funding will allow the Assessment Appeals Board to schedule and hear appeals cases more quickly and ensure a more timely resolution for taxpayers. She also began the process of digitizing historic real property records currently maintained only in hard copy. This project will ensure that vital assessment details and property files are available for staff when valuing both residential and commercial properties.