SAN FRANCISCO – Carmen Chu was currently sworn in by Mayor London Breed to begin her second term as the City and County of San Francisco’s Assessor. In California, the role of Assessor is a countywide elected position and over the past six years, Chu had the distinction of being the only Asian American and one of only 15 female assessors elected amongst the 58 counties in the State of California.
Under her leadership, San Francisco had the highest property tax roll growth in the state over the past three years, generating over $3 billion annually in local revenues. In her first term, she led her team to out-perform revenue expectations by over half a billion dollars and recovered close to $40 million in under reported transfer taxes, impacting San Francisco’s bottom line. Recently, her office’s work was the driving factor which resulted in the return of $415 million property tax revenue for local services.
“I am deeply honored to have the confidence of San Francisco voters reaffirmed this November. As Assessor, my job is to make sure everyone is treated fairly in the eyes of the law and to strengthen our City’s financial foundation,” said Chu. “When we do this, San Francisco has the resources it needs to serve our communities, including those who may be left behind.”
In the coming year, Chu will focus on overhauling the City’s core property tax and records systems in a multi-year, multi-agency effort. This effort is identified as one of the City’s top technology priorities aimed at improving efficiency, transparency and service. Already, Chu has succeeded in implementing modernizations to improve service and accountability including: online recording for real estate transactions, business electronic filings for taxpayers, securing data and vital records for disaster-recovery, implementing data-driven analytical tools to improve processes and inform decision making and revamping the organization’s public website.
As a daughter of immigrants, Chu also believes in the importance of bridging the gap between government and community. In September 2017, she launched the Bay Area’s first Family Wealth Forum, a one-stop shop to help families with asset building and estate planning. So far, close to 1,000 families have been served, many of them seniors, immigrants and women. This year, the Family Wealth Forum and series of community fact sheets received the California Association of Public Information Official’s (CAPIO’s) top honor, the 2018 Excellence in Public Information & Communication Award.
Last year, Carmen Chu launched the non-partisan W Challenge (wchallenge.org) in partnership with the Department on the Status of Women and the League of Women Voters. The goal of the W Challenge was to increase voter registration amongst women across all political spectrums by encouraging women to express the importance of participation through their own voices and through their own networks. The urgency of this effort is highlighted by the US Census’ statistics showing that California ranked the third worst in terms of women’s voter registration. Through efforts like the W Challenge and others, the City’s registered voters increase by 20,000 in the November 2018 election.
Prior to becoming Assessor, Carmen served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing the Sunset/Parkside District beginning in 2007. Carmen began serving as San Francisco’s Assessor in 2013 when she was initially appointed by late Mayor Edwin Lee in February 2013. She won Citywide election as Assessor in 2013, 2014 and 2018.