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Controller’s Council of Economic Advisors

Comprehensive Tax Reform in California: A Contextual Framework

Within her first four months of taking office, State Controller Betty Yee created a Council of Economic Advisors to examine the many ideas for comprehensive tax reform in California.

Controller Yee and other elected officials have called for a tax system that is less vulnerable during economic downturns and is more sustainable, providing greater certainty from year to year. While numerous reform ideas have merit, Controller Yee believes that changes to the tax system must be examined as a whole with focus on fairness to taxpayers and practicality. A comprehensive reform should avoid locking in even more money for specific groups and instead provide a dependable source of revenue that avoids major disruptions to government services.

The Council included experts from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives in academics, business, economics, and government. The group's core objective was to review and comment on the potential impacts of various tax reform proposals. Working with data from the California Board of Equalization, California Franchise Tax Board, and State Controller's Office, the Council assessed the workability of proposals including practical effects, unintended consequences, and prospective alternatives.

  • Dr. Alan Auerbach - Professor of Economics and Law at University of California, Berkeley, and Director of Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance
  • Dr. I. Angelov Farooq - Director of Center for Economic Development and Innovation at University of California, Riverside, and Partner at The Omnius Group
  • David Gamage - Assistant Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley
  • Ruben Gonzalez - Senior Advisor, Strategic Affairs at Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Tracey Grose - Former Vice President of Bay Area Council Economic Institute
  • Tracy Hernandez - Founding CEO, BizFed
  • Jennifer Ito - Project Manager at University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity
  • Larry Kosmont - Founding CEO of Kosmont Companies and BizFed Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Kim Rueben - Senior Fellow at Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and Affiliated Scholar at Public Policy Institute of California
  • Kim Walesh - Director of Economic Development and Deputy City Manager for City of San Jose