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THE name may sound boring, but the State Board of Equalization affects just about everyone in California.

The board administers or overseers a wide range of state and local tax programs, including property and sales taxes.

The Board of Equalization consists of the state controller and four members elected by district.

On June 2, voters have a chance to make the board a more active force for taxpayers' interests. Seats are being contested in two districts in the Daily News area, and a third seat is up for grabs in the election for state controller.

Here are the recommendations of the Daily News in the district races:

District 2

Dean Andal, Republican (incumbent). Joseph Micallef, Democratic.

Andal, a former Assemblyman from Stockton, has no GOP opposition for re-election.

Voters have a choice of two Democrats, Micallef and Tom Y. Santos.

Micallef, chief executive officer of a Sacramento tax consulting firm, formerly was a field audit supervisor for the Board of Equalization.

Santos, of Elk Grove in Sacramento County, is a state management auditor and worked previously for the board.

Micallef has a better overall perspective of the public's priorities. Over the years, Micallef worked for reforms to make the agency accountable, such as giving taxpayers access to information about their audits and appeals.

District 2 includes Ventura County and the Antelope Valley area.

District 4

Tyrone Vahedi, Democratic. Joe H. Adams Jr., Republican

District 4 includes most of Los Angeles County, from the Ventura County line on the west to San Bernardino County on the east, and from Carson on the south to beyond Castaic on the north, including Santa Clarita.

Brad Sherman represented the district until he went to Congress and picked his chief deputy, John Chiang, to fill his unexpired term.

Now, Chiang and five other Democrats seek a full four-year term. Vahedi is the best choice.

Vahedi is an independent thinker with a sensible, mainstream approach to issues. His bipartisan support attests to that. Vahedi has worked for the Board of Equalization in auditing, investigation and senior advisory positions.

Vahedi and Chiang both recognize that the agency can improve, but Vahedi's leadership inspires more confidence.

Other Democrats include retired management consultant Gil Eisner, who proposes dramatic reforms that would be up to the Legislature, not the board.

On the Republican side, Adams, a longtime tax auditor from Burbank, has a greater familiarity with these issues than candidate Khalil Khalil, an engineer and financial manager.
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Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:May 22, 1998

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