Mission Statement

To fulfill the legally mandated functions of the Assessor-Recorder in an accurate, timely, and efficient manner.

Department Overview

The Assessor’s Office is responsible for locating, identifying, and valuing all taxable property in the County of Santa Cruz. The Assessor directs the performance and coordination of all assessment activities, maintains contacts with legislators and state regulatory bodies, and participates in the rule making, standards development, and legislative activities of the California Assessors' Association. The Assessor's Office is organized into two major program areas: valuation and administration.

The Recorder's Office maintains a perpetual record of real property transactions and vital statistics. Functions of the department include recording real property records such as deeds, deeds of trust, reconveyances, notices of completion, financing documents, maps, state and federal tax liens, and mechanics liens. Documents are indexed, scanned and microfilmed as a permanent record and stored in a temperature-controlled environment. The department collects recording fees, document transfer tax on transfers of real property and copy fees for providing copies of recorded documents. Records are open for public inspection and staff provides assistance to the public in searching recorded transactions.

Budget Summary

Department Budget Overview

Budget Summary of Changes

The Assessor-Recorder budget recommends funding 1.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) Appraiser I position to assist with the additional duties imposed upon the office as a result of the passing of Proposition 19. The final Adopted budget will also include the mid-year addition of 1.0 FTE Appraiser I (2/27/24) to assist with addressing backlog issues caused by multiple years of calamity reassessments, and overall increases in building and development throughout the county. Other increases in salaries and benefits reflect negotiated increases for current staff. Services and supplies for both the Assessor and Recorder divisions have been reduced primarily due to changes in professional services for contracts completed and changes in data processing services offset by the new technology hardware fee for computer replacements.

The Recorder’s Office division anticipates declining revenues due to fewer home sales, similar to revenues in 2023-24. The implementation of a new Recorder software system and new Photostat scanning system (began in 2023-24) will continue in 2024-25. The projects are being fully funded by restricted revenue funds, which can only be used for improvement and micrographic projects such as this.

Open the Services Overview or Operational Plan Objectives below for more details.

Department Services and Objectives

Total Expenses
1 %
Total Revenues
-13 %
General Fund Contribution
21 %
Other Fund Contributions
0 %
Funded Staffing
Service Overview
Operational Plan Objectives
This service supports various department objectives


1 – Indicates change from FY 2021-22 Allowed Budget

2 – General Fund Contribution is the share of General County Revenues (primarily property tax and other local taxes) allocated to each department. Other funds that contribute to this budget are shown on the Budget Details page.

3 – Indicates change from FY 2021-22 Adjusted Funded Positions (including Board-approved mid-year changes as of April 1, 2022).

Budget Details

The charts below show department expenditures and revenues by division and service. Click on the pie charts to drill down for more detail. Complete detail can be found on the County's Transparency Portal.

Expenses by Service

Expenses and Revenues over time

Personnel Details

The chart below provides the department personnel detail by division, service, and classification.