John Chiang Named New Chair of State Board of Equalization - News Release - 2002

NR# 1-G
Date: January 8, 2002
Customer & Taxpayer Service Division

John Chiang Named New Chair of State Board of Equalization

Sacramento. The Board of Equalization (BOE) announced today that John Chiang was elected Chair of the BOE for the year 2002. Chiang, who represents BOE District Four serving over eight million residents of Los Angeles County, has served the BOE since 1997 and was elected to the BOE in 1998.

Prior to his election in 1998, Chiang served as the Chief Deputy to Brad Sherman, who is now a Member of Congress. Chiang was born in New York and is a resident of Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of South Florida. Before joining the BOE, Chiang worked as a tax law specialist for the Internal Revenue Service and as an attorney for the State Controller's Office. As Chair of the BOE, Chiang, a Democrat, will also sit as a voting member of the three-person Franchise Tax Board and as Chair of the BOE Business Taxes Committee.

Johan Klehs, the First District BOE representative, a Democrat, was elected Vice Chair. Klehs was elected to his first term at the BOE in 1994 and re-elected in 1998. Prior to his election to the BOE, Klehs served in the California Assembly for 12 years. The son of German immigrants, Klehs was born in Alameda and grew up in San Leandro. He is a graduate of California State University, Hayward with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration.

The BOE is overseen by a five-member elected Board. Four members are elected directly from legislatively defined districts and serve four-year terms. The fifth member, the State Controller, is elected at-large and serves in an ex officio capacity.

Members of the BOE are elected California constitutional officers who oversee and administer the world's second largest taxing agency. The BOE is responsible for the administration of California's sales and use, fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and excise taxes, and for the collection of fees that fund specific state programs. The BOE collects and administers over $35 billion annually in tax and fee revenue. More than one million businesses are registered with the agency.

The BOE also serves as the appellate body for appeals from sales and use and excise tax assessments, as well as Franchise Tax Board income tax assessments. Finally, the BOE sets the property value of state-assessed utilities, railroads, and pipelines, and oversees the administration of property tax laws by California's 58 elected county assessors.