Entire state tax board on the June ballot
May 10, 2010
All four members of a powerful though low profile tax board are up for grabs in June. [LATimes]
California’s Board of Equalization is the nation’s only elected state tax board. The board settles state taxpayer disputes and determines which corporations are eligible for tax breaks.
In 2004, the board distributed tens of millions of dollars in refunds to companies that paid no state income taxes but nonetheless sought to take advantage of manufacturing-equipment tax credits, according to the Los Angeles Times.
On March 9, former board member Bill Leonard stepped down from his seat and was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency, pending Senate confirmation. Barbara Alby, currently running for the fourth contest, worked as Leonard’s top aid and took over his position on the board when he stepped down.
Ethics experts have raised questions about Alby’s connection to the Pacific Policy Research Foundation, a non-profit founded by San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom Bordonaro.
The foundation’s primary purpose for soliciting donations is to pay for an annual one-week junket to a Hawaiian luxury resort in Maui for lawmakers and lobbyists.
Betty Yee’s district takes in coastal California, from Oregon to Santa Barbara. Democratic incumbent Yee of San Francisco faces two primary challengers: investor G. Alan Montgomery and economist Ted Ford. Also running are two Republicans: venture capitalist Kevin Scott and Rae Williams, a Saratoga woman who listed her occupation as mother.