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BOE Member George Runner

Video of Near Tragedy at Board of Equalization Building

Today I released security camera footage showing a pedestrian nearly struck by falling glass in a January 2012 incident at the Board of Equalization’s downtown Sacramento high-rise.

View video

As the video shows, this building is a safety risk for both state workers and the public. In addition to falling glass, we’ve experienced toxic mold, leaking sewage pipes, methane gas, water leaks and more. It will cost millions more to address these problems, and it’s impossible to do so expeditiously while the building is occupied.

That’s why I’m calling on Governor Jerry Brown to back an effort to move the Board of Equalization out of its problem-plagued headquarters in downtown Sacramento.

The state has been wasting millions of taxpayer dollars throwing good money at a bad building. It’s time for the Governor to finally solve this problem by moving everyone out of that building to a new location.

Located in my district, the 24-story headquarters building at 450 N Street is designed to house 2,200 employees, while BOE requires space for 3,150 employees in order to carry out the legislative mandates for revenue administration, collection and enforcement efforts. To address these overcrowding concerns, approximately 700 employees and more than one million taxpayer records have been relocated to four annex facilities, disjointing staff, disrupting business functions and increasing operational costs.

Additionally, since moving into the building in 1993, the state has spent approximately $59 million on remediation and modernization costs—an unusually high amount for a building of its age. Unfortunately, the state could be forced to spend in excess of $40 million over the next few years to address outstanding projects including the replacement of 2,070 spandrel glass panels ($7M), the replacement of waste water pipes ($10M), and the cleaning of mold from HVAC ducts.

I’m supporting legislation (AB 1656) by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson to authorize a new consolidated Board of Equalization headquarters. I co-authored a similar measure (AB 151) in 2010 that was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger due to the state’s fiscal condition at the time.

A state audit is in progress and aims to determine the best approach to address problems with the Board of Equalization’s headquarters. A report is expected by the fall.


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