Controller John Chiang was elected in November 2006 to serve as California’s Chief Fiscal Officer.
The Controller is the chair of the Franchise Tax Board and, during even-numbered years, the State Lands Commission. He serves on 76 boards and commissions including CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation’s first and second largest public pension funds.
Controller Chiang has long championed financial literacy, and he is using his position to empower working families. Through seminars and free tax preparation assistance, Chiang educates low- and middle-income Californians about taking advantage of tax credits and refunds they have earned.
As Controller, Chiang has moved swiftly to ensure California is on the road to prosperity while meeting its obligations to workers and retirees. Upon assuming office, Chiang immediately hired an independent actuary to determine – ahead of schedule – the costs of post-employment benefits as the first step in crafting California’s long-term plan to meet the State’s accounting and healthcare commitments.
Controller Chiang also understands the frustrations that local governments and school districts face when complying with mandated programs. As a result, he is creating an unprecedented assistance program to provide local officials with the tools, information and guidance they need to protect their funds while complying with State laws and restrictions.
To hold the State accountable to the public, Chiang has teamed with the State Treasurer to propose a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Commission to provide a one-stop, direct information source so taxpayers can track each public works project funded by the historic $42.7 billion infrastructure bond measure passed in November 2006. Chiang believes it is critical to fortify the system of fiduciary oversight so that projects to reduce traffic congestion and flood risks, provide more affordable housing and new educational opportunities, and clean the air and water are realized on time, and on budget.
Chiang is committed to safeguarding California’s vast and precious natural resources. Chiang has joined with institutional investors managing $4 trillion in assets to call on federal lawmakers to enact a national standard to address global warming. As a member of the State Lands Commission, he is committed to preserving the state’s 1,200 miles of coastline that stretch from Oregon to Mexico, and ensuring the public has access to safe, pristine parks and recreation areas.
The Controller brings extensive experience and fiscal leadership to the State Controller’s Office. Chiang was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998 where he served two terms, including three years as chair. He began his career as a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and previously served as an attorney in the State Controller’s Office.
Chiang is the son of immigrant parents, and graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in Finance. He received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Chiang and his wife,
Terry Chi, live in Torrance, California.