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County moves to eliminate Treasurer-Tax Collector

By   /   May 19, 2014  /   3 Comments

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The county will immediately save more than $500,000 a year and could eventually realize more than $1 million in annual savings thanks to action taken today by the Board of Supervisors to reorganize the county’s fiscal departments.

Besides the cost savings, which are vital as the county enters into a difficult budget year, the reorganization will combine similar functions under the same roof, improving customer service and eliminating cumbersome bureaucracies.

Seizing upon an opportunity created by the recent retirement of the elected Treasurer-Tax Collector, the board today voted unanimously to move the functions of that office to the elected Auditor/Controller and Sheriff-Coroner. The board also moved to shift the Recorder and County Clerk functions from the Auditor/Controller to the Assessor. The action creates the new offices of Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector, Sheriff-Coroner-Public Administrator, and Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk.

“This is a common-sense, money-saving approach that could only be achieved during a narrow window of opportunity without thwarting the will of the voters,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gary Ovitt. “It will be exciting to realize such dramatic savings during these tough times while also improving service to the public.”

The timing for the reorganization was perfect because of the vacancy in the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office – the county could eliminate the position without removing an officeholder elected by the voters – and the upcoming elections.

“The voters in June will have the chance to choose who they think should manage the reconfigured departments when the Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector, Sheriff-Coroner-Public Administrator, and Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk are on the ballot,”

Chairman Ovitt pointed out.

Immediate cost savings include elimination of the Treasurer-Tax Collector position at an annual cost of $270,218 in salary and benefits, a Departmental Information Systems Administrator Position at an annual cost of $196,191 in salary and benefits, and the $200,000 cost of conducting a Treasurer-Tax Collector election every four years. The county is confident that many more savings can be identified once the reorganization occurs and duties and functions are evaluated.

In addition to the savings, the reorganization will achieve taxpayer-friendly efficiencies. Cash management will be consolidated under a single department, and tax collecting and central collections would occur under the same roof as accounts payable and receivable.

Recording would be done where parcel numbers are kept, eliminating the need to transfer data between departments. And document recording would eventually be available at Assessor field offices throughout the county. Recording is now available only in San


The reorganization follows a growing trend among California counties. Twenty-four of the state’s 58 counties have combined Assessor-Recorders, and at least 10 counties have combined Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collectors, including Sacramento, Fresno, and Santa Clara.

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About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. The saving can for go the new CAO’s salary of $305,000 a year (plus mucho benies). Nothing personal, I wish him luck cleaning up all the muck, but that’s still a big chuck of cheese for California counties to be paying administrative officers. Expecially when California and Counties are tanking, and people are hurting en masse.

    That’s twice as much as most all governors are paid. Nothing makes sense any longer; it’s a topsy-turvy Califoria. My plan is to take five people off the street anywhere in San Bernardino County and make them Supervisors. Could we do worse or better or what? No aspersions meant for any of the existing Sups.

    The CAO’s labor contract calls for a four-fifths to let go for cause… well I don’t think that’s good. The boss needs to hold the chips, not the employee. Employments are and should be terminable at will for cause.

    Best wishes new CAO.

  2. Auditor/Controller and Sheriff-Coroner
    San Bernardino, California

    Dear new Auditor/Controller and Sheriff-Coroner:

    I am requesting to have my property removed from the property tax rolls for the following reasons:

    1. 42 USC 1982 Property rights of citizens

    2. 42 USC 1441 Congressional Declaration of National Housing Policy

    3 18 USC 241 Conspiracy Against Rights

    4. 18 USC 242 Deprivation of rights Under Color of Law

    5. FOIA (answer to Freedom of Information Request) dated June 22, 2006


    Ken Peil
    Twentynine Palms, California 92277

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