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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finally - California Commission on the 21st Century Economy

Today (10-30-08), Governor Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-12-08 announcing the creation of a 12 person commission to study how to bring California's tax system into the 21st century. Click here for details and the Executive Order (click here for to find a video of the press conference).

As you can tell from the name of this blog - I think this is a great idea!

The governor was joined at the press conference by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass who also supports a commission to help find ways to improve California's tax system. She notes that much of our tax system dates back to the 1930s.

They called for a non-partisan review which is a great thing. Governor Schwarzenegger notes that tax reform has nothing to do with politics.

I've written on this topic of a commission structure before:
The commission is to have 12 members appointed by the governor and assembly speaker. Members will be announced in November and the work will begin right away as the governor expects a report on 4/15/09. Per the EO, the following goals should guide the commission's work:
" a. Establish 21st century tax structure that fits with state's 21st century economy;
b. Stabilize state revenues and reduce volatility;
c. Promote the long-term economic prosperity of the state and its citizens;
d. Improve California's ability to successfully compete with other states and nations for jobs and investments;
e. Reflect principles of sound tax policy including simplicity, competitiveness, efficiency, predictability, stability and ease of compliance and administration;
f. Ensure that tax structure is fair and equitable."
Hopefully with the strong support of the governor and assembly speaker and perhaps a heightened awareness by more people that California's tax system is in need of reform, the commission's recommendations will get serious discussion in the legislature.
For some suggestions on where California's tax system seems to be out-of-date and some ways to help modernize it, please see the website I maintain on the topic in the hopes of getting more discussion and broader awareness of the matter, please see:
What are your ideas for bringing California's tax system into the 21st century and what do you hope the commission will accomplish?


Anonymous said...

Most tax reform proposals ignore or obfuscate the base axiom (political and economic philosophy) under which the proposals are advanced.

What do you think of the Real Property Use Tax theory, which goes to extensive lengths to explain and justify tax revenue operation?

NOTE: See a summary of this reform on Wikipedia at . . .

Anonymous said...

Hi Annette,
My name is Gary Craig. I was a student of yours from the MSA program at SJSU about 10 years ago. Since I have read many of your different articles in the Advisor or Journal of Accountancy.
I was randomly looking for an article to link to my blog regarding the state taskforce, because I really didn't think it got the attention it deserved. Low & behold ou showed up in my search.
I'm glad to see you are as excited as I am about this taskforce. Lets hope the proposals don't get permanently shelved via the different vested interest entrenched in our great state.
Best regards,
Gary W. Craig, CPA