Publication 216, The First 100 Years

1879-1979



Appendix: The Equalization Districts and Reapportionment

The first Board of Equalization (1879) represented four equalization districts. Following are the counties which comprised each of the four original districts:

FIRST EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—San Francisco.

SECOND EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, EI Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Tuolumne.

THIRD EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, Yuba.

FOURTH EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, Tulare, Ventura.

Although the four equalization districts were redefined by a constitutional amendment in 1884, no boundary changes actually occurred until 1923.

Between 1889 and 1907, six new counties were created and were added to the original roster of counties. However, none of these new counties altered the boundaries of the four original equalization districts. Following are the counties that were added, the date each came into existence, and the counties from whose territory the new counties were formed:

  1. Orange County—March 11, 1889—from southeastern Los Angeles County
  2. Glenn County—March 11, 1891—from northern Colusa County
  3. Madera County—March 11, 1893—from northeastern Fresno County
  4. Riverside County—March 11, 1893—from portions of San Bernardino and San Diego Counties
  5. Kings County—March 22, 1893—from western Tulare County
  6. Imperial County—August 15, 1907—from eastern San Diego County

An enormous influx of population into California necessitated a reapportionment of the equalization districts in 1923, and the state’s counties were divided into the four equalization districts as follows:

FIRST EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz.

SECOND EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne.

THIRD EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Butte, Colusa, Del Norte, EI Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, Yuba.

FOURTH EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura.M

The second and most recent reapportionment became effective March 4, 1972. The districts were divided so that each had approximately five million population at that time, consisting of the following counties:

FIRST EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, EI Dorado, Inyo, Los Angeles (northern portion), Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Placer, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Ventura.

SECOND EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tulare.

THIRD EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Alameda, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, Yuba.

FOURTH EQUALIZATION DISTRICT—Los Angeles (southern and central portion of the county), consisting of the City of Los Angeles, and (in 1979) 53 other incorporated cities.