Assessor Chu Wins Prestigious Good Government Award

SPUR 40th Good Government Awards

San Francisco Assessor Carmen Chu’s office is the recipient of the prestigious 2020 Good Government Awards presented by San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR). A multi-year initiative, Carmen’s Goal to Roll Initiative (G2R) was selected as a result of its positive impact to San Francisco and for its accomplishments in reversing a decades old backlog of assessments and providing transparency into operations and productivity.

“The work of my office is understated but has an outsized impact on our City’s well-being. SPUR’s recognition of the value of our work speaks volumes to the herculean effort lifted by my team to embrace change and work together – our success is the City’s success.”

Carmen Chu, San Francisco Assessor

The major components of G2R include: (1) Implementing new technologies (like the launch of the Assessor Information Management System and automated data-driven tools) (2) Re-engineering business processes to ensure high quality work, and (3) Aligning management and staff resources towards eliminating the backlog. The result has been significant for local resources and taxpayers:

  • Through fiscal year 2019, cumulative revenues exceeded expectations by over half a billion dollars – this represents an extra half a billion dollars to improve public services or to forestall budgetary cuts;
  • At over 32%, SF led California’s 58 counties in proper tax base growth over the last three years;
  • Compared to just five years ago, this new tax base has meant increased bonding capacity of over $2.6 billion, expanding our ability to pay for repairs to our capital infrastructure such as our seawall and public safety / fire suppression infrastructure as well as fund new initiatives like the recent affordable housing bond;
  • Rapid assessment growth vis-à-vis education funding requirements resulted in the one-time return of $545 million in ERAF funds to San Francisco which resulted in millions allocated to affordable housing, children services, educator wages, and homeless behavioral health services;
  • Quicker resolution of outstanding assessment appeals means we have almost halved our risk of refunding property taxes from adverse appeals decisions from $328 million to roughly $170 million;
  • Taxpayers are no longer burdened with multiple years of “catch-up” bills allowing for more certainty and the ability to forecast expenses while non-profit partners and affordable housing developers benefit from faster processing of exemption claims.

The Good Government Awards is a 40-year collaboration between the City and County of San Francisco and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR). The purpose of the Good Government Awards is to recognize excellence in performance among public employees. A public recognition program will take place in San Francisco City Hall on March 4, 2020.