Malia Cohen

Malia M. Cohen

Chair, Board of Equalization, 2nd District

News Release
For Immediate Release
January 29, 2019

NR 19-01
Contact: 916-445-4081

Malia M. Cohen Elected Chair of the California State Board of Equalization by Unanimous Vote of Her Colleagues

Sacramento – Malia Cohen, Member of the Second District of the California State Board of Equalization (D-San Francisco), today was elected unanimously by her colleagues to serve as Chair of the Board. As Chair of the Board, Chair Cohen will also serve as a voting member of the California State Franchise Tax Board.

Upon her election as Chair of the Board of Equalization, Chair Cohen thanked her Board Member colleagues for this privilege and stated, "We will work to ensure that the views of all who come before us are considered carefully and with respect, civility, and courtesy. We will work to provide open outreach to all Californians who seek the services of the Board."

Chair Cohen stated, "Here at the Board, we do not have special interests, narrow interests, or favored interests. The only interest we have is the people's interests. I also pledge to do all that I can to make sure our actions are open and fully transparent and above reproach."

"I am committed to increasing public input into how our tax dollars are raised and spent -- so that issues of social justice and equity remain front and center in these discussions," Chair Cohen concluded.

Chair Cohen, as a newly elected member of the Board representing the Second District, was sworn in on January 7, 2019. The Second District includes approximately 10 million constituents and comprises all or part of 23 counties in Northern and Central California, extending from Del Norte County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. Chair Cohen is the youngest Constitutional Officer serving in California.

Prior to being elected to serve as a member of the Board, Chair Cohen served two terms as a member of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco, where she was elected by her colleagues to serve as Chair of the Board. While serving on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Chair Cohen passed the sugar-sweetened beverage tax, generating over $21 million in San Francisco, and paving the way for soda tax initiatives across the country. She also passed legislation to ban flavored tobacco products in San Francisco.

Chair Cohen, is a graduate of Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee, and earned a Master’s in Science in Public Policy & Management from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Malia M. Cohen is the Chair of the California State Board of Equalization representing nearly 10 million constituents residing in 23 counties in Northern and Central California, extending from Del Norte County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. Chair Cohen is the youngest Constitutional Officer serving in California.

The Board of Equalization is California's statewide elected tax board. Its five members include four members elected in districts, and the State Controller. Under its constitutional mandate, the BOE oversees the assessment practices of the state's 58 county assessors, who are charged with establishing values for approximately 13.6 million assessments each year. In addition, the BOE assesses the property of regulated railroads and specific public utilities, and is responsible for the alcoholic beverage tax and tax on insurers.

Note: This news release may discuss complex tax laws and concepts. It may not address every situation and is not considered written advice. Changes in law or regulations may have occurred since the time this news release was written. If there is a conflict between the text of this news release and the law, decisions will be based upon the law and not this news release.