Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions.

The Auditor-Controller/ Treasurer/ Tax Collector is the elected official who is responsible for determining property tax rates and bill amounts, the administration of the County Investment Pool, and the collection of all property tax bills in the County.

Property that has tax bill(s) remaining unpaid for a period of greater than five years becomes subject to a tax sale. The property(s) will be offered for sale at a public auction for a minimum bid. The minimum bid is the amount of taxes owed plus all penalties and costs that have been applied to the property(s). Check this site for upcoming tax sales.

We provide an E-mail Subscription service that includes notification for our Tax Sales. Click here.

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is a detailed set of U.S. government financial statements prepared in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles as promulgated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the accepted standard setting body for establishing governmental accounting and financial reporting. The Government Code of the State of California and the County of San Bernardino Charter requires that the County annually publish a CAFR, and that the report be audited by an independent firm of certified public accountants.

The Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) is a summary of the County’s current financial condition and economic outlook which includes condensed and simplified information obtained from the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The PAFR is published to increase public awareness of San Bernardino County finances by providing financial information that is understandable to the average citizen.

The County’s CAFR/PAFR is generally issued within six months (on or before December 31) after the County’s fiscal-year end (June 30). If you have any questions or need additional information about these reports, you can contact the ATC - General Accounting, 222 W. Hospitality Lane, San Bernardino, CA 92415. These financial reports are also available at the ATC website upon their issuance.

Use tax is a tax on purchases of physical merchandise that will be used, consumed, given away, or stored in California. When title to property transfers to the California customer outside this state, the transaction is subject to use tax regardless of whether any registered place of business of the retailer participates in the sale.

The California use tax is generally the liability of the purchaser and must be paid either directly to the seller from whom the physical merchandise was purchased or directly to the BOE if the retailer is not required to collect and report California tax. The GAS remits the County’s use tax obligations to the BOE monthly and files its returns quarterly.

The GANN Limit is used to set limits on the appropriation of the proceeds of tax revenues which are required to be established annually by Article XIII B of the California Constitution. These limits are required for all agencies receiving tax proceeds, unless exempted by Article 13B SEC 9. Preliminary appropriation limits are adopted annually by the County Board of Supervisors/Directors before the fiscal year begins (July 1). Final appropriation limits are calculated and approved by the County Board of Supervisors/Directors during the fiscal year but before the preliminary appropriation limits are adopted for the next fiscal year.

A confirmation fee is the billing of fees charged to agencies for the requests by their external auditors to confirm a certain accounting transaction or balance for the agencies’ audit purposes. The fee will be charged pursuant to the County Code.

Visit the County’s Finance and Administration site http://www.sbcounty.gov/CAO/Budget/ for recommended and adopted County Budgets.

The Countywide Cost Allocation Plan (COWCAP) is a plan required by the federal government in order for the County to receive reimbursement for general fund allowable indirect costs associated with federal and state mandated activities. The annual COWCAP proposal is prepared in accordance with 2 CFR 225 (formerly OMB Circular A-87). The COWCAP is reviewed, negotiated and approved by the cognizant Federal agency. In California, the State Controller acts on behalf of the Federal Government.

The COWCAP charges consist of two cost components: (1) general costs: computer/equipment use, rent, space use, and utilities, and (2) service units.

The Counties Financial Transactions Report also referred to as the State Controller’s Report is an annual report required by the California State to collect specific financial-related data of California counties on a uniform and comparable basis for use by the Governor, the State Legislature, and the public. MSS prepares the report based on specific criteria and categories provided by the State and data extracted from the County’s Financial Accounting System (FAS). The Counties Financial Transactions Report can be viewed online at http://sco.ca.gov

The Government Compensation in California (GCC) report is an annual report required by the State to provide California public employee compensation information to increase government transparency and accountability. MSS prepares this annual report for the County based on specific criteria provided by the State and data extracted from the County’s payroll system (EMACS). The GCC report can be viewed online at http://gcc.sco.ca.gov

California SAWS Consortium IV (C-IV) is the California Statewide Automated Welfare System-IV (the service organization) for 39 counties in the California State. The purpose of C-IV is to design, develop, implement, and maintain the ongoing operations of the welfare system. MSS is responsible for C-IV financial reporting. MSS works closely with C-IV throughout the year to ensure transactions are recorded accurately and reported in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

The County is eligible to receive reimbursement for costs incurred for activities mandated by the State under Senate Bill 90. These are costs that are required to be incurred by the County as a result of any statute or executive order which mandates a new program or higher level of service of an existing program. MSS works closely with the County departments to help ensure claims are filled out appropriately and filed timely with the California State Controller’s Office.


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