|Read the Article|
"The Board of Equalization" sounds like a fictional government agency invented by Ayn Rand for Atlas Shrugged. But apparently it is not fictional at all, and is alive and well and based in California.
The California Board of Equalization taxes things belonging to people who do not live in California and who did not purchase those things in California, if those things enter California airspace or waters momentarily. According to the article linked above:
The Board assesses use tax on all vessels and aircraft which are used in California regardless of where they are purchased, where they are registered or where the owner residesHow do they do this? Isn't such a law completely unenforceable? If people keep their money in a bank that has even a single branch in California, then a lien on that bank will result in the payment of money belonging to the person whose vessel or aircraft passed through California by the bank even though the account is not in a California branch. Here how it worked in the case of one Washington resident:
The Board can file a lien with all the national brokerage firms. They merely send a notice with the taxpayer’s name to firms like Schwab, Morgan Stanley, and every other national firm. Because the Washington resident had money in an account that also had offices in California, the Board placed a lien on the brokerage account and was given the money.What exactly is the board of equalization meant to equalize? Perhaps it's the difficulty of owning a ship or a plane regardless if whether you live in California or not.