On Friday, the State Board of Equalization (BOE) released to Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone the results of its comprehensive audit of the Assessor’s Office, including the accuracy of the assessment of homes and businesses, and compliance with the provisions of the California Revenue & Taxation Code. The audit, once again, confirmed the office’s reputation for delivering fair and equitable assessments in a timely manner, consistent with state law.
“I continually hear strong, positive feedback from taxpayers as well as city and school officials about the professionalism, exceptional customer service and high ethical standards provided by my staff. But, it is always reassuring to receive formal, independent confirmation from the State agency entrusted with the oversight of our office, confirming that our assessed values are accurate and administered with strict adherence to the law,” said Assessor Stone.
The BOE has a unique authority to levy significant financial sanctions if an assessor fails to meet established compliance standards. This statutory requirement sets a 95% compliance ratio as the threshold to continue to receive funds from the state to administer the processing of the county’s supplemental assessment roll. The reimbursement to Santa Clara County totals approximately $8.4 million annually equal to nearly 29 percent of our budget. The BOE audit concluded that the Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office not only met the 95% compliance ratio, but achieved a total ratio of 99.94%.
Performed every five years, the BOE audit independently reviews appraisals and audits completed by the Assessor’s Office, verifying the accuracy of the annual assessment roll. The audit occurred over a six-month period, and was conducted by a team of the BOE’s most experienced assessment professionals. In addition, the audit suggested nine recommendations for improvement, the fewest since Assessor Stone was first elected in 1994.