Meet your Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari L. Freidenrich
Shari Freidenrich was elected as Orange County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector in November 2010 and re-elected after being unopposed in 2014, 2018 and 2022. As the banker for the County and the Community and School Districts in Orange County, Shari's primary responsibility is the deposit, investment, collection and paying out of public funds. She is responsible for overseeing the County of Orange’s $12 billion investment pool and serves as a trustee for the $20 billion Orange County Employee Retirement System. Shari is a member of the Audit Oversight Committee, the Public Financing Advisory Committee, and the Deferred Compensation Committee and is also the liaison to the Treasury Oversight Committee. Shari focuses on Common Sense Leadership and has saved almost $1Billion for taxpayers during her time at the County, with the largest savings coming from her leadership in moving OCERS from a 30 year amortization of their unfunded liability, which created significant negative amortization, to a 20 year amortization, where principal and interest are now paid annually, and which saved taxpayers over $525 million in interest expense.
Shari was elected in June 2022 as the President of the California Association of County Treasurer-Tax Collectors and is leading this association for the 58 counties in the State. Shari is also a Past President for the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada and a Past President of the California Municipal Treasurer’s Association . She is a former President for the Washington State Alumni Association and was elected as a former Governor on the Board of Governors for the Washington State University Foundation and during her tenure also served as their Audit Committee Chair.
Prior to her service with the County of Orange, Shari was elected as the City of Huntington Beach Treasurer and served from 1996 to 2010. She previously served as a Controller for McDonnell Douglas Travel Company (now Boeing Travel Company), and also worked for McDonnell Douglas Corporation as an Auditing Specialist. Shari started her career with Deloitte & Touche, an international accounting firm.
Treasurer Freidenrich holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Washington State University in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and graduated summa cum laude. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) as well as a Certified California Municipal Treasurer (CCMT), a Certified Public Finance Administrator (CPFA), a Certified Public Finance Investment Manager (CPFIM), and an Advanced Certified Public Finance Investment Manager (ACPFIM).
Shari has received many honors including being listed on the Inaugural "OC 500” list compiled by the Orange County Business Journal in the civic leaders’ category and being awarded the Public Sector Local Leadership Award “Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet” by the Orange County Business Council.
Several key innovations Shari has implemented include adding a search by business name for unsecured property taxes at octreasurer.com/octaxbill and a Mello App at mello.ocgov.com. Created in partnership with former OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and OC Information Technology, the Mello App utilizes property tax bill data to display the base levy and any special assessments in an easy to read format. The site can easily be searched by address or using an interactive overhead map, allowing all applicable property tax bill data to be displayed once the user selects a parcel. Parcels with Mello Roos and PACE assessments are identified with special icons.
In 2020, Shari implemented a temporary policy to cancel penalty cancellations for all taxpayers that had been impacted by COVID-19 saving over 6,000 taxpayers $3.1 million in penalties if base taxes were paid by June 30, 2020. Subsequent to the implementation of this policy, the Governor issued an Executive order limiting the cancellations to only homeowners and small businesses that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 that completed the request form and paid the base taxes by May 6, 2021.
Shari also partnered with the Assessor over the last two years to have the Board of Supervisors approve an increase in exemption from unsecured property taxes from $3,000 to $10,000 (including business assessments and boats) and mailed almost 40,000 fewer unsecured property tax bills saving business and taxpayers significant dollars by no longer having to pay unsecured property taxes with assessments below $10,000. Approved at the same time was an increase in the amount of delinquent base taxes being exempted from lien of $100, up from $30.
Shari is a member of several local Chambers and is also the Past President of the Rotary Club of Huntington Beach and Soroptimist International of Huntington Beach and is currently also serving as a member of Angelitos de Oro that supports the Big Brothers, Big Sister of Orange County & the Inland Empire.