4215 Assessor-Recorder Senior Office Specialist

Recruitment #CBT-4215-086624


Who We Are 

The Office of the Assessor-Recorder is responsible for carrying out property tax-related functions governed by the State Constitution and State and local laws. Our core responsibilities include locating all taxable property in the City and County of San Francisco, identifying ownership, establishing a taxable value, and applying all legal exemptions. Property broadly includes both real property and personal property owned by businesses. The Office of the Assessor-Recorder is also responsible for recording documents and maintaining those public records. Over 400 different types of documents are recorded annually, including deeds of trust, reconveyances, liens, and public marriage licenses. The Office is also responsible for collecting any transfer tax due upon a change in property ownership. The Office of the Assessor-Recorder strives to conduct our work with the core principals of professionalism and integrity. 

What We Do

Heightened activity in the real estate and business markets means increased demand for the work of our Office. Every year, property tax revenue accounts for about one-third of the City’s General Fund revenue, representing close to $1.9 Billion in Fiscal Year 2016-2017. This revenue funds crucial services like police, fire, health and family support services. Through the dedicated work of the Assessor-Recorder staff, the City experienced a 10% increase in the local assessment roll compared to the previous year, representing a cumulative value of over $230 Billion. This is due in part to strong growth in the real estate market, additional construction across San Francisco, and our office’s efforts in increasing efficiency. Fiscal Year 2016-2017 transfer tax revenue of $409 Million is the highest level we have seen in the City’s history, and accounted for 12% of the City’s General Fund revenue. In recent years, we have taken significant steps toward modernizing our operations, including launching a new information management system to create a better, more convenient way of managing our close to 300,000 property files and documents and to safeguard our information. We have also started a multi-year, multi-organization effort aimed at modernizing City-wide property tax systems. Meanwhile, our core values continue to drive our efforts to improve customer service. 

What We Are Looking For

The Office of the Assessor-Recorder is currently hiring for multiple vacancies in class 4215 Senior Office Specialist. Under general direction in an assigned area of activity, the Senior Office Specialist performs the most difficult and specialized clerical and technical duties that require advanced knowledge of technical administrative policies and procedures, most of which are unique to the Assessor-Recorder's Office. Duties emphasize advanced and technical level activities pertaining to document examining, property ownership and transactions, change in ownership assessment determination recommendations, transfer tax assessment, complex exemptions, and real/personal property appraisal services. Incumbents perform assigned duties with substantial independence, applying advanced knowledge of technical assessment and recording requirements, policies and procedures to make decisions and perform assignments.

Other essential duties include, but are not limited to:

1. Performs highly specialized technical work and analysis requiring in-depth knowledge and a high level of independence involving review and processing of real property transactions and/or complex document recording processes within the Assessor-Recorder’s Office; receives, examines, evaluates, and records deeds, reconveyances, releases of liens, judgments, marriage certificates and various legal and other documents; interprets various codes, statutes and  ordinance in examining and recording a wide variety of complex documents; performs detailed and complex document examination to ensure sufficiency, completeness, jurisdiction, appropriateness for recording, and/or adherence to legal codes and state and county recording requirements; provides follow up with customers and other parties as appropriate to resolve problems; refers customers to other Office staff and/or outside agencies as required on committees and task forces.  

2. Ensures compliance with the Transfer Tax Ordinance by reviewing change of ownership transactions; requests and analyzes documentation of proof of exemption; and collects transfer taxes in real-time, in accordance with the Revenue and Taxation Code and State and local tax laws and ordinances.  

3. Searches deeds to determine real property ownership; receives and verifies records supporting property statements.  

4. Receives and collects payments for a wide range of complex service fees based on Revenue and Taxation codes as well as state and local tax laws and ordinances; issues receipts and accounts for money received by balancing records. May receive and collect payments of recordable documents; balance cash receipts and receivables; prepare balance sheets and processing forms; and post receivables and credit appropriate accounts.  

5. Provides complex technical information in person, on the phone, and via email and regular mail regarding policies and procedures pertaining to recording requirements, assessment and recording laws, regulations, policies and procedures to attorneys, government agencies and the public.  

6. Performs technical tax assessment activities by reviewing and evaluating real property transactions such as grant deeds, quitclaim deeds, affidavits of death, court orders, final decrees of distribution, leases, foreclosure sales deeds and other documents; researches property rolls to verify changes in ownership, transfer of property, boundary discrepancies and overlap or breaks in the chain of title for real property; makes recommendations regarding property transfer tax and other assessments, based on State and County laws and codes.  

7. Provides technical assistance to professional appraisers pertaining to real property appraisals; collects structural classification data in the field or in the office for residential dwellings, apartment complexes, commercial concerns and industrial firms; notes construction characteristics related to foundation, exterior, interior, plumbing, lighting and heating; determines shape classifications using perimeter and square footage calculations; takes photographs of structures.  

8. Gathers property and/or business data to determine welfare tax exemption status; gathers and tabulates data to determine appropriate exemption percentage allowable; inspects property based on application information and other data; and prepares inspection reports; explains exemption programs’ eligibility requirements; evaluates program applications and determines eligibility based on well defined, pre-established criteria; responds to and researches complaints regarding determinations; works with other divisions and the Tax Collector’s Office to ensure that exemption accounts are adjusted appropriately.  

9. Researches and compiles property value data; identifies comparable sales; searches deeds to determine delivered prices; provides technical support for cost analyses and/or income analyses for both real and business/personal property; receives and verifies records supporting property statements from public accountants for client firms; researches, gathers and tabulates data from financial and operating statements.  

10. Explains appraisal procedures and policies to builders, contractors, real estate brokers and the general public; serves as a technical liaison to various agents regarding appraisal processes.  

11. Maintains and updates statistical data; prepares and maintains complex statistical reports.  

12. May serve as a lead worker by directing and monitoring the work of a small group of subordinate employees and serving as a technical resource regarding the more complex work issues in the unit. May be required to provide training to entry level classifications.  

13. Operates personal computers, computer terminals and other equipment to research databases, documents and records and locate requested information; provides and/or sends copies of requested documents according to Office policies and procedures.  

14. Types and prepares a wide variety of correspondence, forms and complex documents; independently initiates correspondence pertaining to areas of assignment.  

15. Performs other technical administrative duties; attends meetings and trainings; may serve on committees and task forces.

According to Civil Service Commission Rule 109, the duties specified above are representative of the range of duties assigned to this job code/class and are not intended to be an inclusive list. 

Minimum Qualifications

These minimum qualifications are to be used as a guide for establishing the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification. Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.

Pattern I

Experience: Two years equivalent to or higher than a 4214 Assessor-Recorder Office Specialist in the City/County of San Francisco. OR

Pattern II

Education: Completion of 60 semester (or equivalent quarter) units from an accredited college or university, with major coursework in business administration, accounting or a closely-related field.

Experience: Three years of progressively responsible legal document technical review, researching documents, and processing experience, preferably in a legal environment or county Assessor or Recorder’s office, including two years performing journey-level duties comparable to or higher than those assigned to the class of 4214 Assessor-Recorder Office Specialist in the City/County of San Francisco.


1) Additional specialized assessment/recording-related experience can be substituted for the above-required education on a year-for-year basis, where one year of experience is equivalent to 30 semester (or equivalent quarter) units, OR

2) Possession of Certificate of Recognition certifying that the applicant has successfully completed the Recordable Document Examiner course administered by the County Recorder’s Association of California may be substituted for six (6) months of the required experience described in paragraph 2 of the Experience and Training Guidelines.

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.


Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date.  Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter.  To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org, @famsf.org, @ccsf.edu).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file.  Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records.  Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Gerald Buss, by telephone at 415.554.5213, or by email at Gerald.buss@sfgov.org.


Selection Procedures

Screening of Applications: Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience and education. Only those candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will continue in the selection process.

Written Examination (Weight: 100%): Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be tested to determine their relative knowledge, skills and abilities in job-related areas which may include but not be limited to: Knowledge of office etiquette, as well as spelling, grammar, punctuation, reading comprehension, and arithmetic; Knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and regulations pertaining to property tax assessment and legal document recording; Skill in analyzing and organizing technical data; Skill in operation of office equipment including, but not limited to, phones, computers, copy machines, and fax machines, and skill at using various office software and systems; Ability to work collaboratively and build strategic relations with colleagues, coworkers, and other stakeholders; Ability to evaluate documents for accuracy and legal conformance; Ability to analyze and prepare documents, reports, and correspondence; Ability to communicate in writing and verbally and interact effectively in person, over the phone, or via email with members of the public and other stakeholders; Ability to accurately prepare and maintain records, files and reports; Ability to prepare legal documents, conduct legal research, interpret and apply laws, and summarize findings.

Candidates who pass the exam process will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score. Qualified applicants will be notified by e-mail of the exact date, time and location of the written examination. This is a standardized exam and, therefore, test questions and test answers are not available for public inspection or review.

Eligible List:
The eligible list resulting from this examination is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission.

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be of 6 months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.


The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of 7 Scores.  Additional selection processes may be conducted by the hiring department prior to making final hiring decisions.

Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Terms of Announcement and Appeal Rights

Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.  [Note: The correction of clerical errors in an announcement may be posted on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf.] The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 110.4.  Such appeals must be submitted in writing to the Department of Human Resources, 1 S Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-5413 by close of business on the 5th business day following the issuance date of this examination announcement.  Information concerning other Civil Service Commission Rules involving announcements, applications and examination policies, including applicant appeal rights, can be found on the Civil Service Commission website at http://sfgov.org/civilservice/rules.

General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures:
Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents:
Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work:
All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.


Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for this job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable ADA Accommodation at: 

Information regarding requests for Veterans Preference can be found at: 

Seniority Credit in Promotional Exams: 
Information regarding seniority credit can be found at:

Exam Type:  CPE
Issued:  May 25, 2018
Micki  Callahan
Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Recruitment ID Number: CBT-4215-086624


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


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