FRESNO, CA—It may not sound relevant to the average person living in California, but California’s board of equalization (BOE) is more important than what one may think, as BOE District 1 candidate Connie Conway informed The Conversation viewing audience Sunday night.
Conway would be one of the BOE’s five board members; each member serves concurrent four-year terms.
California’s BOE comprises as the only elected tax board in the United States. One Member is elected from each of the BOE’s four Equalization Districts, each representing approximately 9.5 million constituents. The State Controller, elected at large, serves as the BOE’s fifth member.
Conway’s District 1 includes Fresno County along with a long list of other Central Valley areas: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yuba, and portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.
Created in 1879 by a constitutional amendment, the California BOE was initially responsible for ensuring county property tax assessment practices were equal and uniform throughout California.
Today, the BOE administers 39 tax and fee programs that generate more than $60 billion in revenue for California, including the state’s sales and use tax, as well as fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and other special taxes and fees that fund specific state and local government programs and services, including public safety programs, hospitals, and health care services, transportation and housing, social service programs, and natural resource management.
The BOE also plays a critical role with regard to California property taxes and it acts as the appellate body for franchise and income tax appeals.
With the recent threat of California wanting to get rid of the BOE, Conway stressed the significance of its importance on The Conversation, and is determined to fix the current structure of the BOE as relative campaign issues:
Leading the fight to clean up an agency that has been plagued by nepotism, wasteful spending and corruption.
Protect Proposition 13 and keep property taxes down.
Support efforts to fully prosecute corrupt officials who abuse the public trust.
Conway, originally from Bakersfield, CA, now a small business owner residing in Tulare, CA, not only has the political experience, but her hands-on understanding of city, county and state economics has kept her mission to be fiscally responsible for her constituents as a significant goal always at the forefront of her actions. In fact her record earned her 100% ratings from the California Taxpayers Association, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the National Federation of Independent Business.
“I'm running for Board of Equalization to represent the one special interest that I answer to - you, the taxpayers of California. I'll fight to stop the BOE power grab, defend Prop 13 & repeal the gas tax hike. No new taxes,” said Conway.
Conway served as a Tulare County Supervisor of District 2 for eight years, chairing the Board in both 2005 and 2008.
In 2006, Conway also served as president of the California State Association of Counties, which represents California's 58 counties at the state and federal levels. She later became a director of the National Association of Counties, chaired its membership committee, and worked on its economic development committee.
She also served in governor-appointed seat, the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley which works to improve the economy and quality of life in the San Joaquin Valley by making policy recommendations to the governor.
In 2008, Conway was elected to be a member of the California State Assembly from the 26th district, and re-elected for the same seat in 2010, serving as the minority leader until 2014.
Not only does Conway intend to focus on cutting government waste at the state level, but on behalf of small business owners, she will continue to fight for their reserve; she supported the “New Hire” Tax Credit, which was a targeted tax incentive that helped small businesses create new California jobs in the coming two years. The measure gave California small businesses a $3,000 income tax credit for each new, full-time employee hired.
Find out more about Connie Conway through one-on-one interview on The Conversation, and visit her website to find more campaign issues she intends to address here.