The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) survey team has concluded their comprehensive assessment practices survey report on San Diego County Assessor’s Office. The BOE report focused on the quality of the 2008-09 assessment roll, which totaled over $399.5 billion in value. The report acknowledges significant operational improvements since the last survey, and identifies most of the department’s programs as being effective and well-administered.

“The BOE survey plays a vital oversight role, ensuring public confidence in our process,” stated Assessor David Butler. “It is rewarding to have our accomplishments acknowledged, and to give credit to the exceptional commitment and excellence of the Assessor’s staff.”

The Assessor’s Office is audited every five years. The primary objective of the report is to determine whether assessments are fair and in accordance with property tax law. In addition, it provides an overview of how well the assessor’s duties are performed and includes recommendations for areas of improvement. This year’s audit lists only six recommendations, half the number of recommendations contained in the 2006 report. The Assessor has already initiated implementation of most of the recommendations.

The audit findings determined San Diego achieved an assessment ratio of 100.2%. The minimum acceptable assessment ratio is 95%. San Diego’s near perfect assessment ratio means the County is eligible to recover the administrative cost of processing supplemental assessments. San Diego County has averaged an annual reimbursement of $5.9 million since the last survey report.

“The County Assessor continues to manage a well-administered assessment program,” said Robert Kevane, President Elect, San Diego Association of Realtors and President of the San Diego County Apartment Association. “Consequently, it is no surprise they achieved an assessment ratio so close to the ideal 100 percent. I commend Assessor David Butler in maintaining a high level of achievement for best practices throughout the state.” The state report also compliments the assessor for “creating successful programs and for being proactive in public awareness.”

The BOE’s oversight is designed with both a public policy interest and a financial interest in promoting fair and equitable assessments throughout the state. A copy of the survey may be available as early as Monday of next week at the BOE webpage: