The Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office has 3 major components of responsibility: the Treasury, the Tax Collector's Office (including Special Assessments and Deferred Compensation programs) and the Revenue and Debt Division (a.k.a. Central Collections).
The Treasury section is responsible for the safekeeping and investment of funds for the County, School Districts and Special Districts. The Treasury oversees all banking operations for the County and its Departments and is the paying agent for all debt and Special Assessments. All public financing is coordinated through the Treasury, as well as tax and revenue anticipation notes for the County and School Districts and General Obligation bonds for the School Districts. The Treasury also manages an investment portfolio of over $1.5 billion and allocates over $12 million in interest earnings annually.
Tax Collector Section
The Tax Collector Section is responsible for the collection of Secured Property Taxes, Supplemental Property Taxes and Unsecured Property Taxes and the collection of Transient Occupancy Taxes, as well as oversight of Special Assessment District bond distribution for the County. Each division of the tax section performs essentially similar activities such as billing, receipt and deposit of funds, record management, and receipt reconciliation. Approximately 175,000 secured tax bills, 30,000 supplemental assessments and 22,000 unsecured tax bills are processed each year. The Tax Collection staff provides processing expertise; information and assistance to individual taxpayers and mortgage professionals; and oversees tax defaulted or delinquent tax payments, selling delinquent property under the approval of the Board of Supervisors. Finally, the Tax Collector's section collects Transient Occupancy taxes from hotels and motels in the unincorporated area and posts and deposits the collected funds on behalf of the County.
Special Assessment Section
The Special Assessment Section of the Tax Collector's Office serves as Fiscal Agent, Paying Agent and Bond Transfer Agent for all of the assessment districts for the County of Sonoma special districts and the Cities of Rohnert Park, Healdsburg and Cotati. This department also serves as the fiscal agent for six 1911 Act assessment districts for the City of Santa Rosa and for twelve 1915 Act assessment districts for the City of Petaluma. As Fiscal Agent, this section submits annual bills for special assessment districts to the Auditor for inclusion in the annual property tax bills. As Paying Agent, the section coordinates payment to bond holders upon call of the bond and, as Transfer Agent, the section maintains ownership records of registered bond holders, including transfer of ownership. Since 1986, the Special Assessment section has also assured additional compliance with arbitrage restrictions on all bond issues.
Deferred Compensation, under the direction of the Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector, administers three employee benefit pre-tax savings programs on behalf of County employees. These programs are intended to encourage employees to save additional funds for retirement. They are the voluntary 457 plan, the mandatory 457 plan and the 401(a) plan. Under the 457 plans, the section currently administers 4,038 volunteer accounts and 1236 mandatory accounts. Under the 401(a) plan, the section administers 719 accounts.
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