A New Council Formed to Analyze California’s Tax Reform Proposals

Appointee Imran Angelov Farooq is the director of UC Riverside’s Center for Economic Development & Innovation within the Office of Research

Imran Farooq has been appointed to a state panel on tax reform.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Imran Angelov Farooq, director of UC Riverside’s Center for Economic Development & Innovation, has been appointed to a new Council of Economic Advisors for California’s Chief Financial Officer, Controller Betty T. Yee.

The nine-member council will include experts from a variety of backgrounds including academia, economics, business, and government. The group’s core objective is to review and comment on the potential impacts of tax reform proposals. They will meet monthly by phone and twice a year in Sacramento, with the first meeting next month.

“My approach will be to evaluate data, as well as incorporate the diverse voices of community and business leaders into the discussion,” he said. “Tax reform is an opportunity to advance social equity so that prosperity throughout our State can be more balanced.”

Working with data from the California Board of Equalization, California Franchise Tax Board, and State Controller’s Office, the council members will look at tax reform proposals to assess the practical effects, unintended consequences, and possible alternatives.

“California needs a tax system that reflects the 21st century economy, is less vulnerable during economic downturns, and is more sustainable, providing greater certainty from year to year,” said Controller Yee, the state’s chief fiscal officer. “While multiple reform proposals have merit, they must be examined within the context of comprehensive tax reform with a focus on fairness to all taxpayers.

She said the Council of Economic Advisors will serve as the singular nonpartisan source of perspectives for tax reform proposals.

The Controller’s Council of Economic Advisors includes:

  • Alan Auerbach – Professor of Economics and Law at University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance.
  •  Imran Angelov Farooq – Director of Center for Economic Development & 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 Vice President of Public Policy and Political Affairs at Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Tracey Grose – Vice President of Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
  • Jennifer Ito – Project Manager at University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity.
  • Hon. Mike Machado – State Senator (Retired) and Farmer/Business Owner
  • 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.

Michael Pazzani, UCR’s vice chancellor for research and economic development, said that this appointment will fit in with what Farooq is already doing to attract jobs and investment. “He is out there meeting with industry leaders already,” Pazzani said. “This will be one more way that we can engage the attention of state leaders.”

Born and raised in inland California, Farooq serves as the chief advisor for an economic development initiative called Inland SoCal Link, which promotes the trade corridor between the City of Los Angeles to the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino. In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Farooq to the California Workforce Investment Board. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, and his master’s and doctorate of policy, planning and development from USC.  Farooq is also a partner at The Omnius Group, a company that specializes in public private partnerships.

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