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Assemblymembers Introduce Legislation to Repeal Board of Equalization

For immediate release:
Assemblymembers Introduce Legislation to Repeal Board of Equalization

SACRAMENTO – The Board of Equalization (BOE) would be dissolved under a constitutional amendment introduced by Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), and Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine). ACA 11 would remove the BOE from the state constitution and provide the Legislature the authority to move their remaining duties to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) and the Office of Tax Appeals (OTA).

“When the BOE was first established in 1879 one of its primary responsibilities was to assess inter-county railroad property, a role that is now obsolete. Today, with the board’s limited duties, California can no longer justify the BOE’s expense or need as it does not provide a significant enough benefit to taxpayers,” said Ting. “ACA 11 ensures that California removes an unneeded elected body while ensuring that taxpayers can still resolve their tax cases with CDTFA and OTA.”

In 2017, Assemblymember Ting led the efforts to reduce BOE’s powers to their limited state constitutional powers after audits found the BOE mishandled millions of dollars, redirected nearly 100 tax audit and compliance staff to unrelated duties such as parking lot duty, and requesting additional staff despite having 600 vacancies. The Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017 transferred those duties and staff to the newly-created CDTFA and OTA. 

“Since 2017, we have seen that the Board of Equalization is unnecessary and that its former duties can be carried out more effectively and efficiently by CDTFA and OTA,” said Assemblymember Irwin. “California no longer needs three separate tax agencies. The BOE’s remaining authority is very limited and, in fact, the BOE relies on CDTFA to carry out many of its administrative duties.  In the interest of good government and efficiency, it is time to allow the voters to remove this vestige of the 19th century.”

“The Board of Equalization has been waste of taxpayer dollars for too long. As the Chair of the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, I’m very focused on working to build public trust in government and ensure we use taxpayer dollars wisely,” said Assemblymember Petrie-Norris. “I’m proud to be working with my colleagues on this long-overdue effort.”

ACA 11 requires a two-thirds vote and if passed, will put the measure in front of voters in 2024.

A recording of the press conference is available here.