Jerome E. Horton currently serves as the Chairman of the California State Board of Equalization. In July 2009, he was appointed to the Board of Equalization by the Governor and confirmed with overwhelming support by both the California State Senate and Assembly. Mr. Horton brings to the Board twenty-one years of prior Board of Equalization experience as business tax law specialist and a keen understanding of public policy as a former member of the California State Assembly and Inglewood City Council. Mr. Horton's appointment to the Board is historic in that he is the first member to join the Board with twenty-one years of prior Board of Equalization experience, the first African American to serve on the Board in its history and the third African American California Constitutional Officer.
Mr. Horton has earned a reputation as a tireless advocate for California taxpayers. He is credited in playing an important role in the creation of the Board of Equalization's "Taxpayers' Bill of Rights" which ensures California's taxpayers a fair and transparent process. As an avid crime fighter, Mr. Horton initiated the formation of the Joint Enforcement Criminal Task Force, which targets organized crime operations, active in the underground economy. His legislation is credited with recapturing hundreds of millions in unreported business taxes, the prosecution of illegal business operators, and taking tons of cigarettes and other illegal contraband off our streets. While serving with the Board, Mr. Horton was an active member of the Association of California State Supervisors and Service Employees International Union (SEIU 1000). Fondly referred to as the Equalizer at the Board of Equalization, Horton exemplifies fairness, justice, and equality in taxation.
Before joining the Board of Equalization, Mr. Horton served as a member of the Inglewood City Council and California State Assembly from 1996 to 2006. Mr. Horton's background in accounting, finance and real-estate investments enabled him to take leadership roles in balancing municipal and state budgets; without raising taxes. Mr. Horton focused on the principles of accountability, transparency, efficiency and wealth building as a way of increasing the number of taxpayers and improving the effectiveness of government. As a result, Mr. Horton has been honored as an outstanding legislator by several prestigious organizations. He has also been recognized for his efforts to increase public safety, improve the quality of education and expand health care access for all Californians.
Horton also served on several powerful boards including the California State Work Force Investment Board, and the California Historical and Cultural Endowment Board. Here, he collaborated in developing workforce training, career advancement, and promoting cultural awareness and empowerment. He also played a key role in establishing initiatives aimed at preventing at risk youth gang participation and reducing the incidence of crimes committed by juveniles.
After his tenure in the legislature, Mr. Horton served on the California Medical Assistance Commission (CMAC), where he fought tirelessly for the expansion of access and the improvement of quality healthcare for Californians. Mr. Horton also continued his commitment to building healthy and productive communities by volunteering with several nonprofit organizations including the United Job Creation Council and California Education Solution. Mr. Horton, known as a progressive political strategist, helped these organizations build powerful coalitions that have resulted in the passage of progressive local initiatives and the election of several candidates.
Mr. Horton received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Finance from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Mr. Horton and his wife Yvonne have two children, Myeshia and Matthew, and one grand daughter, Sahara.
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