Taxpayers Oppose Effort to Reduce Accountability and Limit Voters’ Rights by Abolishing Elected Property Tax Oversight Board

For Immediate Release, March 21, 2023
Contact: David Kline (916) 893-2614 or
[email protected]

The California Taxpayers Association (CalTax) today announced its opposition to ACA 11, a proposal that would eliminate important checks and balances between taxpayers and tax administrators by abolishing the elected State Board of Equalization (BOE) and distributing its authority to unelected political appointees.

“This misguided proposal would force California’s property tax system into the shadows, reduce accountability, and give a dangerous level of power to political appointees,” CalTax President Robert Gutierrez said. “Our current system provides taxation with representation, and there is no need to eliminate Californians’ right to vote on these important positions.”

Taxpayers frequently contact the elected BOE members for assistance in navigating the state’s complex tax system, and every Californian has an opportunity to address the board members directly every month during the BOE’s public hearings. The staff reports to the elected board in public meetings, which increases accountability and provides transparency for taxpayers and the media.

California’s property tax system includes properties with nearly $8 trillion in assessed value, providing key funding for cities, counties, schools, and fire districts. The BOE provides oversight of the 58 county assessors’ practices to ensure the uniformity of property tax assessments, compliance with the law, and accuracy. These audits are released to the public, with recommendations to improve assessment practices, and the elected BOE members work with assessors to continually improve and modernize tax administration.

Additionally, the chair of the BOE sits on the three-member Franchise Tax Board, which oversees income tax administration. By abolishing the BOE, ACA 11 would remove an elected official from this oversight role, leaving the state income tax administration much less accountable to the taxpayers.