Funding for County Property Tax Assessors Up for Discussion
The importance of adequate local government funding will be the main topic of the Board of Equalization's (BOE) annual meeting with the state's 58 county assessors on November 15, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at BOE headquarters, announced Second District Board Member George Runner. County assessors lack the resources to properly administer local property tax laws, straining school districts, as well as state and local budgets.
"This is an important issue that impacts every California property owner," said Runner. "It seems each year we expect local tax officials to do more with less. Most recently county assessors' offices, with no state assistance, have been flooded with phone calls from angry taxpayers who received 'fire prevention fee' bills."
Mr. Runner chairs the BOE's Property Tax Committee, and will moderate this panel discussion. The assessors from Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Stanislaus Counties are the scheduled panelists. They will explore how state law allows counties to recover property tax administrative costs from local agencies except school districts, and how this inability creates a funding gap for counties. This gap reduces assessors' ability to adequately perform their duties, and in turn, the amount of revenue the counties are able to collect. This shortfall impacts the state's general fund in that state dollars must then make up the difference in public school funding when property taxes revenue falls short. The BOE overview paper for the upcoming meeting discusses this funding issue in greater depth.
In addition to the property tax administration funding panel, assessors will hear opening remarks from the president-elect of the California County Assessors' Association, Amador County Assessor James Rooney; will be introduced to the BOE's Executive Director Cynthia Bridges; and will receive an update on the embedded software property tax issue that was discussed at last year's annual meeting with assessors.
State law requires the BOE to meet with assessors at least once a year to discuss issues relating to the administration of property assessment and taxation laws.
Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents the State Board of Equalization's Second District. He is a leading advocate for California taxpayers. Runner has worked to improve California's tax policies and practices and to create and retain more private sector jobs in our state. Prior to his election to the Board, Runner served twelve years in the State Legislature, authoring the well-known California Amber Alert and California's Blue Alert. As a thoughtful conservative, his legislative priorities included improving the economy, business growth, education excellence, and public safety for all Californians. As a member of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, Runner consistently led the fight against tax increases and supported tax relief for families and businesses.
The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects more than $53.7 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit www.taxes.ca.gov.
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