Van Nuys, Calif. – The Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA) strongly opposes the last minute trailer bills (Senate Bill 86 and Assembly Bill 102) in the proposed state budget that would result in a sweeping overhaul of the State Board of Equalization (BOE).
The proposals would drastically undermine important taxpayer protections by removing all of the statutory functions of the BOE. While VICA supports thoughtful changes to the BOE, such as those set out in Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas’ AB 1210, gutting the BOE is a rash and inappropriate step. A major overhaul of a tax agency that collects one-third of California’s tax revenue should not be jammed through the budget process without vetting or input from stakeholders and taxpayers.
As the nation’s only elected tax commission, the BOE functions as an essential check against bureaucratic dominance in California. The proposed trailer bill would strip the BOE of its adjudicatory, regulatory and administrative functions. As a result, tax appeals would instead be heard by civil service judges who cannot be held accountable by taxpayers.
VICA President Stuart Waldman urged legislators to move deliberatively as changes are made to the BOE: “Changes to the Board of Equalization are necessary, but these trailer bills go far beyond the problems identified in last year’s audit. This kind of overreach is unfounded, and legislators must have time to carefully deliberate on reforms that also preserve essential taxpayer protections.”
The mission of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) is to enhance the economic vitality of the greater San Fernando Valley region by advocating for a better business climate and quality of life. Visit www.vica.com for more information.