Fees for Assessor Parcel Maps, Property Characteristics, other data to increase on July 1

Earlier today the Board of Supervisors approved increases to the fees charged by the Assessor for a wide range of products and services. The new fee schedule which has not been updated since 2004, will be effective July 1, 2009. “We have increased our fees in some instances to cover the increased cost of doing business during the past five years,” said Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone. On average, the fees increased between 3% to 4% per year.

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The new fees will allow the Assessor’s Office to continue to recover the costs associated with producing copies of maps, copies of data from electronic storage media and special reports, while maintaining the quality of services the general public has come to expect from the office. The new fees are also consistent with the Board of Supervisors Budget Strategy Statement to insure full cost recovery.

Fees charged by the Assessor cover only the Assessor’s cost to produce the requested item. The Assessor’s Office uses data from a sophisticated cost accounting system to develop the new fees. “It is important that our fees reflect only our true costs and not a penny more,” said Stone.

The one increase that impacts the most customers is the customer service fee, which increased from $3 to $5 and covers the staff’s cost to collect and process cash and checks. “We anxiously await the County’s introduction of e-pay later this year, which will allow us to sell our products on-line, eliminating the customer service fee. It is expected the fee charged by the credit card company will be less than the Assessor’s processing fee. More transactions online will allow our limited staff resources to focus on more important assessment issues. That is one fee I look forward to collecting less of,” said Stone.

Attached is a complete list of the new and old fees, and the Assessors cost recovery totals.

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David K. Ginsborg

 
  • Deputy to the Assessor
  • Phone: 408-299-5588

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