Senator Gaines Disappointed Committee Rejected Audit Request Of New California Tax Authorities

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) today expressed disappointment in the Joint Legislative Audit Committee’s (JLAC) denial of his request for an audit of California’s newest tax agencies – the California Department of Taxes and Fee Administration (CDTFA) and the Office of Tax Administration (OTA). The audit would have examined the taxpayer funds used to establish the two new government bureaucracies as well as the various disruptions experienced by the taxpaying public since these agencies were formed.

“Californians deserve a thorough audit to know exactly how their tax dollars are being spent and the services they can expect in return,” said Senator Gaines. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for government mismanagement and mistakes. We must hold them accountable.”

In 2017, the legislature passed the Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act that stripped the California Board of Equalization of much of its tax collecting authority along with its oversight of the administrative appeals process relating to tax and fee collection. In turn, the legislature created two new entities to do the job with the CDTFA and OTA. Establishing these new departments is projected to cost taxpayers millions this year alone.

Since the transition, taxpayers have complained about a variety issues with the CDTFA’s website, including denied account access, outdated license and permit information, inability to make payments, and broken online assistance functions. Taxpayers have also experienced harassment over payments they do not owe and criticized CDTFA’s misplacement of supporting paperwork when they attempt to resolve false claim issues.

“An audit of CDTFA and OTA would have assured me, my constituents and the public, that taxpayer interests are being served. It’s unfortunate that this information will remain in the dark and that government accountability and transparency will continue to be elusive.”