The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) yesterday unanimously voted to name Jerome E. Horton as Chairman of the publicly elected tax board.
"I look forward to collaboratively leading the Board during these economically challenging times," Horton said. "Making it easier for California Taxpayers to comply with the law, leveling the playing field and fair treatment of our constituents are key components in stimulating our economy.
Chairman Horton represents the Fourth Equalization District and its 73 cities within Los Angeles County. Mr. Horton served as Vice Chairman of the Board from January 2010 to January 2011.
Horton is the only member of the Board with over twenty-one years of previous experience with the agency.
As a staff member of the Board, Horton served as legislative deputy specializing in business tax law, supervisor, district reviewer and tax auditor from 1979 to 2000. Horton also served on the California Medical Assistance Commission and in the State Assembly representing the 51st Assembly District from 2000 to 2006.
While in the Assembly, Horton chaired the Governmental Organization Committee, Community College Board and served on the California State Workforce Investment Board and the Cultural Endowment Board. Prior to joining the Assembly, Horton served on the Inglewood City Council from 1996 to 2000 and as a member of the Redevelopment Agency. Horton is also the first African American to be elected to the Board of Equalization since it inception in 1879.
During Horton’s first year as a member for the Board of Equalization, he has championed initiatives to ensure that women business owners not only survive but thrive during the tough economic times through the Connecting Women to Power (CWP) Business Conference. He also championed to eradicate human trafficking by launching a training program for all state taxing agencies. He encourages small business contracting, makes available free tax preparation services through the Free Tax Preparation Assistance (FTPA) program, and ensures that agency services are more readily available to southern California businesses. He also took a leadership role in the creation of a domestic partner tax-rights brochure.
While serving in the Assembly, Horton authored legislation creating the California Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003 (AB 71), to increase control over the marketing of cigarettes and tobacco products.
Another critical part of this legislation was to set aside funding to specifically target reduction of illegal sales to minors.
Horton also authored the legislation (AB 1418, 2006) that created the state law requiring both the BOE and the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to post online a list of the largest 250 tax delinquencies of more than $100,000 in tax. The BOE and FTB combined have collected more than $50 million in delinquent state and local taxes under AB 1418.
Horton encourages young people to consider careers with the Board of Equalization and other state agencies in the field of law, accounting, real estate and a variety of other fields of public service.
The Board also voted unanimously at today’s meeting to name Michelle Steel as Vice Chair.
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