Checking scanners and gas pumps to ensure shoppers aren't overcharged. Building dams and flood control channels. Recording births, deaths, and marriages. Assessing property and recording all changes in property ownership. Registering fictitious business names. Conducting elections. Setting insect traps. Collecting old paint and computers. These are among the wide-ranging property and municipal services provided by the County that affect all residents.
Additionally, the County provides municipal services in varying degrees to all 88 cities, with 37 contracting for nearly all of these services. These services might include street repairs, traffic signals, building regulation, land use planning, and brush clearing, as well as fire and police services. The County provides all municipal services in unincorporated communities, which comprise about 65 percent of the County's land area and one-tenth of the residents.
Departments providing municipal and property services include:
Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures
Enforces laws designed to prevent the introduction and spread of injurious insects, rodents, birds, predatory animals, weeds and plant diseases. Regulates pesticide use, compiles crop data, regulates produce and egg quality, inspects for accuracy all scales and meters used in trade, inspects packages at the wholesale and retail level for accurate labeling and advertised price accuracy. Clears weeds, brush and debris from vacant parcels, provides environmentally responsible solutions to problems associated with urban wildlife and invasive weeds, operates a chemical and biological testing laboratory that specializes in testing water for contaminants and tests for pesticides in environmental, plant and animal tissue samples.
Locates and identifies the ownership of all taxable property in the County. Establishes a taxable value for all property subject to property taxation and completes an assessment roll showing the assessed values of all property. Applies all legal exemptions and produces assessor's parcel maps. The assessment roll consists of more than 2.6 million assessments of real estate, personal property, fixtures used by businesses, boats and aircrafts.
Designs, constructs, operates and maintains roads and highways, flood control and water conservation facilities, and water and sewer systems. Operates five airports, administers public transit programs, manages capital projects for other County departments, and monitors environmental requirements. Provides general engineering and building regulation services for the unincorporated areas of the County and provides services to many cities within the County on a contract basis.
Performs all land use planning functions for the unincorporated areas of the County, including long-range planning, land development counseling, project/case intake and processing, environmental review and zoning enforcement. Develops and maintains a base of information on housing and demographic conditions in the County, and develops programs to encourage effectuation of the County's General Plan.
Registers voters, maintains voter files, conducts elections and verifies initiatives, referendums and recall petitions. Records real property; maintains vital records of birth, death and marriage; and processes business filings and other documents. Records annually more than 2 million real estate documents and issues 1 million vital record certified copies.
Treasurer -- Tax Collector
Administers and manages the County treasury, providing for the collection, custody and investment of all County general, trust, school, and special district funds. Bills and collects current and delinquent real (secured) property taxes, personal (unsecured) property taxes, and transient occupancy and utility user taxes for unincorporated areas. Issues and collects fees required under County business and public health licensing ordinances; collects monies owed the County for certain debts arising from the receipt of services. Conducts investigations of decedents who resided or had property in the County where no executor, legatee, or heir has sought to administer the estate.