County officials are now accepting applications for seats on the new property assessment appeals board.
The panel was created by the Board of Supervisors to handle the logjam of appeals in the county assessor's office.
Applicants are required to have five years' experience in California as either a certified public accountant, public accountant, licensed real estate broker, attorney or accredited property appraiser.
Members are paid $100 for each half-day session, $200 for full days. The minimum monthly time commitment is 120 hours. Meetings are conducted at the Civic Center in Santa Ana.
The board was added to two existing panels to speed the appeals process, which has a backlog of 25,000 cases.
The boards review the petitions filed by property owners who believe their property values were figured inaccurately, leading to an excessive tax bill.
The addition of the third board is part of a package of reforms that county officials hope will streamline an office that has 65,000 appeals awaiting review.
Supervisor William G. Steiner said the measures will shave weeks or months off current delays.
Without the third board, it would take three years to clear the backlog, officials said.
County Assessor Bradley L. Jacobs has attributed the logjam to the depressed real estate market and insufficient resources to handle the increased workload.
Applicants who seek board seats may also be qualified to serve as hearing officers, officials said.
The duties are similar, except that the officers meet informally with citizens to seek one-on-one resolutions to their appeals.
Hearing officers are paid $150 per session, which lasts two to four hours, with a monthly time commitment of 48 hours.
Applications must be submitted to the clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 10 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana, Calif. 92702.
Forms are available by mail, phone or facsimile machine.
The clerk's phone number is (714) 834-2206, and the fax number is (714) 834-4439.