Through its Division of Local Services, the unit that has regulatory and assistance responsibilities for municipal finance and taxation, the Department staff certifies both valuations and tax rates for the cities and towns.
The Division of Local Services functions through four Bureaus:
- Local Assessment
- Property Tax
- Municipal Data Management / Technical Assistance
In order to certify valuations, the Bureau of Local Assessment reviews data submitted by the Assessors and conducts field reviews to assure that the valuations are properly derived and equitably applied.
To certify a tax rate, the Property Tax Bureau looks over the various items that make up the estimated municipal revenue base and makes certain that the calculations for each category fall within the requirements of various laws, including Proposition 2 1/2.
The Municipal Data Management/Technical Assistance Bureau prepares the annual Cherry Sheets (estimates of local aid and state aid county assessments for the next fiscal year) for Assessors and other local officials. It also coordinates the Division's technical assistance program, working with all fiscal officers.
The Bureau of Accounts oversees and provides technical assistance in municipal audits, accounting, and financial reporting. The Division provides guidelines that inform local officials of new and updated laws and prepares specialized publication for municipal use. It also conducts training courses for fiscal officials, offers workshops, training course and seminars throughout the year, and participates actively and cooperatively in local officials' organizations such as the MAAO and the IAAO.