BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1222
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 1, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                 AB 1222 (Bloom) - As Introduced:  February 22, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Revenue and  
          Taxation     Vote:                            8-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              

           SUMMARY  

          This bill increases the amount of money the Taxpayers' Rights  
          Advocate (TRA) of the Board of Equalization may order returned  
          to a taxpayer, including fee-payers, upon a finding the amount  
          of money owed to the state threatens the health or welfare of  
          the taxpayer or the taxpayer's family.  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Increases, from $1,500 to $2,300, the amount of money the TRA  
            may order returned to a taxpayer under specified tax and fee  
            programs, including the sales and use tax.

          2)Extends the TRA's authority to return money to taxpayers under  
            the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Law and the Fee  
            Collection Procedures Law.  

          3)Provides the State Board of Equalization (BOE) shall make an  
            annual inflation adjustment, as specified, to the maximum  
            amount that can be returned to taxpayers.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          The BOE estimates this bill will reduce state revenues by a  
          small amount, less than $5,000 annually.  This bill will have a  
          negligible effect on BOE's administrative costs.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose  .  The author states when many Californians are  
            struggling to make ends meet, it is essential that the BOE  
            have tools to protect taxpayers while still ensuring their  








                                                                  AB 1222
                                                                  Page  2

            taxes are paid in full.  BOE is sponsoring this bill to update  
            the amount of temporary relief taxpayers may receive when the  
            amount of money owed the state threatens their health and  
            welfare or the health and welfare of their family.  The return  
            of funds does not reduce the tax liability, but instead  
            provides a means for taxpayers to meet their basic needs once  
            their bank accounts have had a levy placed on them, making the  
            funds unavailable to taxpayers.  
             
             The author notes the amount that can be returned has not been  
            increased since 1995.  According to the author, increasing the  
            amount the TRA may return from $1,500 to $2,300 accounts for  
            inflation, and provides a mechanism to ensure the amount keeps  
            pace with the cost of living. 

          2)The BOE contends it is important to adjust for inflation the  
            amount of temporary assistance taxpayers may receive when the  
            taxpayer or their family's health or welfare is threatened.   
            In addition, BOE notes the bill provides the TRA consistent  
            return authority for all tax and fee programs administered by  
            the BOE.
           
          3)Background  .  The TRA helps resolve taxpayer complaints,  
            including complaints alleging unsatisfactory treatment by BOE  
            employees.  The TRA can order the release of a taxpayers funds  
            when the health or welfare of the taxpayer or the taxpayer's  
            family is threatened.  The $1,500 ceiling was set in 1995.
           
          4)There is no registered opposition to this bill.  


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Roger Dunstan / APPR. / (916) 319-2081