About The State Board Of Equalization
The California State Board of Equalization is the only elected tax commission in the nation. Its mission is to serve the public through fair, effective, and efficient tax administration. The five-member Board oversees the agency's 4,300 employees in California, New York, Chicago, and Houston to ensure tax and fee laws are interpreted and applied correctly, consistently, and fairly; revenues from the sales and use tax and special tax and fee programs are collected and allocated as required by law; and utility properties are valued properly and the resulting revenues allocated as required by law.
Additionally, the Board is committed to assisting tax and fee payers in complying voluntarily with their state tax requirements, while minimizing their compliance burden; providing high-quality customer service using qualified staff and state-of-the-art technology; and achieving program objectives at the lowest possible cost.
The Board collects taxes and fees that provide nearly 34 percent of the annual revenue for state government and essential funding for counties, cities, and special districts. In fiscal year 2010–2011, Board-administered taxes and fees produced nearly $54 billion for education, public safety, transportation, housing, health services, social service, and natural resource management. More detailed information may be found in the Board's 2010-2011 Annual Report .
The Board was created by an 1879 constitutional amendment to ensure statewide uniformity in county property tax assessment practices. The Board assumed a broader role as California moved into the 20th century. Today, it is charged with administering the sales and use tax and a variety of special tax and fee programs, centrally assessing utility property, determining and setting the value for timber harvest yields, hearing business tax appeals and Franchise Tax Board income tax appeals, and overseeing the assessment practices for real and personal property by California's 58 county assessors.
The five constitutional officers who comprise the Board of Equalization serve concurrent four-year terms. Four of the Board Members are elected from districts of approximately 9.5 million in population. The fifth Board Member is the State Controller, who is elected statewide.