Board of Equalization District 2
The State of California is looking for citizens to serve on the only publicly elected tax commission in the United States!
…or, on what’s left of it, anyway.
New applicants are encouraged to review recent changes to state policy. While previous Board of Equalization members oversaw the collection of over $60 billion in taxes and managed a staff that numbered in the thousands, those responsibilities have since been pared down. Some might characterize these changes as a wholesale gutting of the board, an organization that many saw as redundant and chronically mismanaged. But applicants are encouraged to think of this as a “pivot to the board’s core strengths.” Yes, let’s go with that.
We will be filling four positions, one from each of the state’s Board of Equalization districts.
Job duties include:
- Ensuring that local property taxes are levied and collected in a legal and consistent way across the state (not all that complicated after voters passed Prop 13 in 1978)
- Setting rates for gasoline taxes and pipeline fees in accordance with state law
- Helping constituents navigate the tax bureaucracy
- Managing a staff of roughly 400
Perks include a competitive salary and benefits. Perks do not include the commandeering of nonpartisan technical staff for “parking lot duty” at sponsored political events.
Supervisor, City and County of San Francisco
Incumbent Party: Democratic (Open Seat)
Democratic vs Republican Voter Registration: 32.4% D
Trump vs Clinton Margin, 2016: 50.1% Clinton
Margin of Victory in Last Election: 37.4%
In a district that spans the coast of Northern California, Democratic San Francisco supervisor Malia Cohen is all but guaranteed a place on the Board after November.
Cohen is considered a moderate in San Francisco, but the term is moderate. She supports high-capacity magazine bans and introduced the city’s tax on soda, but is sometimes out of step with her most left-leaning colleagues on housing and fiscal issues.
Mark Burns is a real estate agent who describes himself as a stalwart defender of the constitutional property tax break, Proposition 13. He has also described the position for which he is now being considered as “not a very compelling job.”