The David R. Doerr Medal

The David R. Doerr Medal for Excellence in Tax Policy, named in honor of a legendary policy expert and taxpayer advocate, is awarded every year to recognize those who follow in Doerr’s footsteps.

Dave began his career in the California State Assembly in 1959 and served as chief tax consultant to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee from 1963 to 1987, when he joined CalTax and served as our chief tax consultant until his passing in 2022. During his tenure as the Assembly’s top tax expert, Dave was responsible for drafting legislation that reformed assessment practices (AB 80 of 1966), exempted business inventories from annual taxation, created water’s-edge provisions (SB 85 of 1986), and implemented Proposition 13 of 1978 (SB 154 of 1978). At CalTax, Dave literally wrote the book on tax policy in California (California’s Tax Machine: A History of Taxing and Spending in the Golden State).

To honor Dave’s legacy, CalTax established the Doerr Medal to celebrate those who mentor a new generation of tax experts and have a positive impact on tax policy. The Doerr Medal is awarded every year at the CalTax Annual Meeting.

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Doerr Medal Recipients

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2023

Teresa Casazza, CalTax President from 2007 through 2018

Teresa served as president and chief executive officer of CalTax from 2007 until retiring in 2018, and was the first woman to lead a major broad-based statewide business association in California. She steered the organization through historic state budget crises and major reforms, including establishing independent redistricting (Proposition 11 of 2008), a transparency measure requiring legislation to be in print at least 72 hours before a vote is held (Proposition 54 of 2016), and taxpayer protections that define the difference between taxes and fees (Proposition 26 of 2010). Prior to leading CalTax, Teresa worked as a certified public accountant and in the early 1990s opened the first high-tech policy office in Sacramento (for the American Electronics Association, where she served as vice president and legislative advocate). Teresa taught a fledgling tech industry how to engage in Sacramento, develop policy platforms, and create meaningful relationships in the Capitol. In addition to winning many battles for taxpayers’ rights, Teresa broke glass ceilings, and her expertise and tenacity made the California business community much stronger and more inclusive.