Here’s something that caught us by surprise. While Governor Jerry Brown has often been described as the “adult in the room” when it comes to minding the state budget from becoming something akin to a runaway stagecoach, Californians have not generally considered him a great tax reformer. The national organization, the Tax Foundation, has a different view. The organization named Brown one of three governors as a recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform Award.

More from the Tax Foundation’s press release:

Today, the Tax Foundation announced the 2018 recipients of the Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform Award. This year’s recipients include three governors, nine state legislators, nine members of the District of Columbia Council, and a county commissioner, with recipients representing both major political parties.

As the award’s name suggests, honorees’ accomplishments represent an outstanding achievement (not merely a proposal) and reform taxes to make them simpler, more neutral, more transparent, more stable, and more pro-growth. Prior to this year’s awards, thirty-one individuals from nineteen states and the District of Columbia had received an award, including five governors.

This year, we honor twenty-three individuals from nine states and the District of Columbia with our award for Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform in 2018:

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) for colorful vetoes of targeted tax breaks which have helped California maintain some semblance of a broad tax base and improved its fiscal position. Governor Brown consistently vetoed popular proposed tax breaks, saying legislators should instead work through the annual budget process and balance those wants with other priorities. California has more work to do on fiscal solvency and tax climate, but Governor Brown’s demand for thoughtfulness and process in creating new tax breaks should be emulated by his successors.