Board of Equalization Overhaul Hurts Taxpayers

Teresa Casazza
President of the California Taxpayers’ Association

Public trust in government is eroded every time non-budgetary policy changes are rammed through the Legislature under the cover of the state budget process. Proposed budget trailer bills (AB 102 and SB 86) amount to untested structural changes that will hinder the Board of Equalization’s ability to continue collecting one-third of the state’s annual revenue.

Recent revelations of problems at the BOE demand focused solutions that are thoroughly vetted to make sure they solve the problems without creating new ones.

Unfortunately, many of the suggested BOE ‘reforms’ are nothing but thinly disguised attacks on taxpayers’ rights, including the right to meet with elected officials and the right to appeal taxes without the expense of going to court.

Taxpayers urge the governor and state lawmakers to take the time to do the job correctly, protect taxpayers’ rights, and not rush impulsive changes through the budget process. Revamping this major tax agency with only three days’ notice to taxpayers, and with no real hearings on the language of the legislation, is a recipe for disaster.”

A letter signed by a coalition of more than 30 organizations was sent to state officials to promote a good-government approach to reforming the BOE. Additionally, CalTax has launched www.ProtectTaxpayerRights.org to keep the public informed about how their rights could be impacted.

The coalition consists of:

California Taxpayers Association
American Insurance Association
California Alliance of Taxpayer Advocates
California Apartment Association
California Beer and Beverage Distributors
California Cattlemen’s Association
California Chamber of Commerce
California Distributors Association
California Farm Bureau Federation
California League of Food Processors
California Life Sciences Association
California Manufacturers and Technology Association
California Poultry Federation
California Restaurant Association
California Retailers Association
California Society of Enrolled Agents
Computing Technology Industry Association
Contra Costa Taxpayers Association
Family Business Association of California
Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce
Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
Inglewood Chamber of Commerce
Kern County Taxpayers Association
Los Angeles County Business Federation
National Federation of Independent Business
Orange County Business Council
Orange County Taxpayers Association
San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Solano County Taxpayers Association
Sutter County Taxpayers Association
Valley Industry and Commerce Association
Western Growers Association
Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association
Western States Petroleum Association

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