In 1879, the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) was established under the California Constitution to regulate county assessment practices, equalize county assessment ratios, and assess properties of intercounty railroads. In subsequent constitutional and statutory amendments, the Board was directed to administer tax, fee, and appellate programs to support state and local government.
The Property Tax Program is concentrated in the following areas:
- Valuation of state-assessed public utility and railroad property. The total value for the state-assessed roll is in excess of $110.5 billion annually.
- Administration of the Private Rail Car Tax program and collection of taxes. The total tax is in excess of $10.5 million annually.
- Mapping and assigning tax rate area numbers to each geographical area in the state with a different distribution of revenues among taxing jurisdictions.
- Co-administration of the welfare exemption with County Assessors.
- Administration of the Legal Entity Ownership Program.
- Providing guidance to County Assessors to promote uniformity and consistency in assessment throughout the state; and
- Conducting assessment practices surveys (compliance audits) to ensure County Assessors' practices and procedures comply with all statutory and regulatory provisions, utilizing proper appraisal practices. County Assessors produce an assessment roll for locally assessed property in each of the 58 California counties. The total value for the locally assessed roll exceeds $6.4 trillion.
In addition, the BOE is constitutionally responsible for the Alcoholic Beverage Tax and Tax on Insurers. By way of agreement, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), performs billing and audit services for those programs.
Members of the Board meet monthly in Sacramento to adopt regulations, perform ministerial functions, and set policy for the direction of BOE staff with regard to the foregoing programs. The Board also sets the taxable value of property owned by California's public utilities and railroads and the assessable value of private railroad cars operated in California. The Board hears and decides specified taxpayer appeals related to the Property Tax, Alcoholic Beverage Tax, and Tax on Insurers Programs. The Board appoints an Executive Director to head the agency and manage the activities of BOE staff.
Meet the Board members who serve concurrent four-year terms and constitute the nation's only elected tax commission.
Appointed by the Board Members, directs approximately 200 agency employees.
Read about the statutory authority and program descriptions.
The mission of the State Board of Equalization (BOE) is to serve Californians through fair, effective, and efficient tax administration in support of state and local governments.