Proactively educate property owners on the law

  • Use all forms of media to disseminate information

  • Allow tax payers to make informed decisions 

Point out inequities in the property tax law as they arise

  • Be an advocate for the people

Set reasonable market values

  • Reflect the market  

Provide Excellent service

  • Treat taxpayers as customers

Demonstrate Transparency

  • Allow tax payers to know the analysis behind their value

Provide equitable treatment among all property owners

  • All customers treated equally under the law

Coordination with other counties

  • Take advantage of shared knowledge and synergy



I have spoken to thousands of property owners about their assessments over the past twenty years.  The vast majority who contact me do not know how the property tax system works because the laws have never been explained to them.  At least not until a tax bill showed up in the mail and they have called in to ask about it.  These are people who have built their dream home, done a major remodel on their existing home, or changed the ownership of their property for family planning purposes and did not realize the property tax implications.  When I speak with them they are either angry or scared because they are now wondering how they are now going to pay the bill.  This bothers me and it is something that I would like to change.  You cannot protect yourself from something you do not know. 

Each county assessor’s office has a website with assessment information as does the State Board of Equalization.  A website with information or frequently asked questions is helpful but it is not enough.  I believe that one of the duties of an assessor is to proactively educate property owners on the law.  I will do my best to be sure that as many property owners as possible know how the property tax system works so that they will have the information they need to make an informed decision.  Using forms of communication such as social media, disseminating information through newspaper and radio, coordinating with other county departments, and speaking to local professional and community organizations are all avenues I believe would help the property owners of Yuba County know the property tax implications of their decision before they act.   

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I believe the Assessor not only has a duty to treat every property owner equitably under the law but also has a duty to point out inequities within the law when they are discovered.  As an appraiser for the Sutter County Assessor’s Office in 2015 I saw a trend in assessed values that I believed would affect certain property owners state wide for many years to come.  I contacted the Appeal Democrat, Sacramento Bee, Howard Jarvis Group, and the California Tax Payers Association (Caltax) in an effort to get my concerns heard.  The Appeal Democrat published an article on April 10, 2015, on the issue and the California Tax Payers Association allowed me to write an editorial article that appeared in their newsletter.  I will not go into detail here about the issue but, you can read those articles on my website by clicking on the bolded words above and looking on my News page.  

In short, I believed, and still do, that thousands of property owners across the state are not being treated equitably within the spirit of Proposition 13.  It is as a result of the artificial housing market bubble that occurred from 2004 through 2006.  Unfortunately, for those property owners the opinion of an appraiser in a small county does not carry much weight.  Ultimately, for a change to occur in the property tax laws they have to be made at the state level.  However, as Assessor I will continue point such issues out when they occur and I promise to do my best to get changes made.

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Reasonable Values

An appraisal of a property should be a reflection of the market value not the establishment of one.  In the same way, the values established by the Assessor’s Office should reflect the market.  The assessor is not responsible for generating revenue for the County and State.  If the market is up values will trend up and more new construction value will be added to the roll.  However, if values are down the roll value will decrease.  The Assessor should be enrolling reasonable and equitable values.

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Customer Service

In the private sector businesses provide a high level of customer service because they need repeat customers to survive.  While it might sound odd to refer to property owners as customers of the Assessor’s Office that is how they should be treated.  It might not always be possible for a customer to be satisfied with the outcome of their situation however, they should always feel respected and as if everything possible was done to help them with their situation.  

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Educating property owners on property tax laws is one part of insuring equitable treatment.  The second component of equality is transparency in the valuation of property.  It is not enough to just tell a taxpayer the value of their property.  They should also be able to see the appraisal analysis that was performed on their property so that they know how the value was determined.  When acquiring a real estate loan the borrower is entitled to review the appraisal of the property they are purchasing.  I believe a property tax payer should have the same ability to see the appraisal analysis for their property taxes.   

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Equitable Treatment

Equitable treatment is not the same as fairness.  Fairness is something that is built into the law when it is created.  Equitability is how the law is administered.  In other words, the law is applied the same no matter the person or the situation.  It is an essential part of building trust into the system.  As Assessor I will ensure the equitable treatment under the law.

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Over the years I have met hundreds of fellow Assessor’s Office employees.  I have a great deal of respect for everyone in the offices across the state working hard to administer our property tax system. There are 58 counties in California and every one is tasked with administering the same set of property tax laws and type of workload.  But, in my experience, I have learned that each one has a different way of accomplishing their mission.  There are literally tens of thousands of years of experience in the Assessor’s Offices across the state to lean on in developing better ways of doing the work.  This knowledge is free and readily available it just has to be tapped into and accepted.  As Assessor I will not accept the “because that is how we have always done it attitude”.  We need to constantly be improving how carry out our duties and serve the public.

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