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State of California June 3, 2014 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Betty T. Yee

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Experience: Betty Yee serves as one of five members on the California State Board of Equalization. She represents close to 9 million Californians in the First Equalization District, comprised of 21 counties primarily along the northern and central California coast and including the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Betty was elected to this office first in November 2006, receiving over 1.5 million votes, or 65 percent of the votes cast. She was re-elected in 2010, earning over 1.6 million votes, or 63 percent of the votes cast. During her tenure, Betty has served as the Chairwoman of the Board twice, elected unanimously by her peers to this position that has included her serving as a member of the California Franchise Tax Board.

Prior to her service on the Board of Equalization, Betty served as the Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance, where she led the development of the Governor's Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analysis of legislation on behalf of the Administration. Earlier, Betty held senior staff positions on several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature. Preceding her legislative experience, Betty served as a county public health commissioner and worked in the nonprofit sector.

With 30 years of public service experience in public finance and tax policy, Betty has been recognized widely for her work. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the California State Association of Counties and an Award of Recognition from the California Assessors Association for her leadership in establishing the State-County Property Tax Administration Program. Additionally, Betty has represented California as an advocate and resource on multistate tax issues before the United States Congress.

Education: A native of San Francisco and a proud product of its K-12 public schools, Betty earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1979 from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Master's in Public Administration in 1981 from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Accomplishments: A recognized and well-respected expert in tax and fiscal policy, Betty is widely known for her record of fairness, unblemished integrity, resolving complex policy issues, and program development and implementation. Her leadership on the Board of Equalization has focused on closing the tax gap and on increasing the transparency of the Board's work and proceedings. In closing the tax gap, Betty has initiated proposals to crack down on the underground economy where tax cheats who do not comply with tax requirements place a disproportionate burden on honest, hardworking taxpayers. To increase the transparency of the Board, Betty initiated audio- and video-streaming of the Board's pubic proceedings and increased timely and responsive taxpayer and constituent services.

Some of Betty's other major accomplishments during her tenure on the Board include:

  • Requiring online retailers to collect tax on sales made to California consumers, which already has generated more than $264 million in additional annually and growing.
  • Paving the way for marriage equality by enacting state income tax and property tax equity for same-sex couples.
  • Protecting the property tax welfare exemption for affordable housing.
  • Expanding open space preservation with property tax relief for conservation easement grants.
  • Leading the discussion on the need to regulate the medical cannabis industry.
  • Updating state tax rules to promote the green economy and its technologies and products.
  • Facilitating tax compliance with free resources, education, and outreach tailored to the needs of small businesses in our diverse communities.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: June 2, 2014 13:43
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