Fiona Ma – Board Member – District 2 | California State Board of Equalization
Elected to the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) in November 2014, Fiona is uniquely qualified to represent nearly ten million Californians in the 23 counties that run from the Oregon border to Santa Barbara in the Second Equalization District. As one of the few Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to serve on the BOE, Fiona is a strong voice for businesses and taxpayers – taking the lead in clearing the haze around the cannabis industry by holding informative stakeholder meetings discussing key issues – transportation, track and trace of cannabis products, and the lack of banking services. Fiona served as the Chair of the BOE in 2016 and is the current Chair of the BOE’s Legislative Committee.
Fiona has supported a variety of legislation geared towards helping business owners, including – AB 821 (Gipson) which enabled cannabis dispensaries to pay their tax liability using cash and AB 2149 (Bonilla) which enabled BOE to collect cash payments from medical cannabis-related businesses for other state agencies. Fiona is instrumental in BOE discussions about helping industry business owners pay their taxes safely and efficiently, generating innovative ideas for an industry lacking banking services. She has written extensively about her research into the industry, focused on creating helpful educational tools to assist the industry navigate California’s complicated laws; spoken on many industry panels; and has visited areas such as the “Emerald Triangle” in California, Canada, Colorado, and the State of Washington to learn from their implementation efforts. Fiona has been featured in MG Magazine highlighting her determination to “fix the woeful state of banking for the industry,” is a member of the San Francisco Cannabis Task Force, and lends her expertise to California Treasurer Chiang’s Cannabis Banking Working Group meetings.
Fiona represented District 4 on the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors from 2002-2006. During her tenure in the Legislature, Fiona represented the 12th Assembly District from 2006-2012; served as Majority Whip, and was then the first Asian-American female Assembly Speaker pro Tempore in California history. She also served on the Assembly Agriculture Committee and had taken 70 tours around California to learn more about the agricultural industry. She is also a member of the California Film Commission and Aspen Institute’s 2009 Class of Aspen-Rodel Fellows. Fiona received her B.S. in Accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), her M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University (SF), and an MBA in Business Taxation from Pepperdine University. She has been licensed in California as a CPA since 1992.