The Agency and its History

Established in 1879 by a constitutional amendment, the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) was initially charged with responsibility for ensuring that county property tax assessment practices were equal and uniform throughout the state. Over the years, the State Legislature expanded the BOE's subject matter to include many taxes and fees. In 2017 and 2018, the State Legislature created two new tax administration and appeals agencies, reassigning some of the BOE's tax functions. As a result, the BOE has rededicated itself to focusing on its historical responsibility of property tax oversight and its constitutional responsibilities.

Currently the tax programs administered by the BOE are concentrated in three general areas:

The BOE also hears various appeals:

  • State Assessed Property Appeals
  • Appeals of Denials of Organizational Clearance Certificates/Supplemental Clearance Certificates
  • Tax on Insurers Appeals
  • Alcoholic Beverage Tax Appeals
  • Appeals relating to Section 11 Property

In addition to administering these programs, the BOE plays a critical role with regard to California's property tax system. The BOE acts in an oversight capacity to ensure compliance by County Assessors with property tax laws, regulations, and assessment issues. To perform the oversight functions, the BOE's Property Tax Department conducts periodic compliance audits (surveys) of the 58 County Assessors' programs, and develops property tax assessment policies and informational materials to guide County Assessors and local assessment appeals boards.

Below are additional resources to learn more about BOE’s history: