Attorney Spotlight: Breann Robowski

Breann serves as an innovator and significant contributor at the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) meetings. She has testified at length at each of the BOE’s monthly meetings Robowski1-1024x576since September 2020 as a member of the Collaborative Workgroup on Remote Hearings—the task force created by the BOE to pioneer the implementation of virtual Assessment Appeals Board (AAB) hearings as an alternative to in-person hearings due to the safety concerns and conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This Workgroup consists of County AAB representatives, County Clerk representatives, County Assessor representatives, and a Taxpayer representative—truly a revolutionary group, as remote hearings have never existed in this context, and certainly not on this level. Breann, Chair of the California Alliance of Taxpayer Advocates (CATA) Ad Hoc Committee on Remote Hearings, has been serving as the representative for all taxpayers in California. This Workgroup has discussed extensively the various intricate considerations of holding AAB hearings remotely, including but not limited to:

*   maintaining due process rights in a virtual setting;

*   creating specific protocols for document submission;

*   facilitating equal access in remote hearings;

*   providing training to all participants;

*   allowing for individual autonomy among the counties depending on the needs of their constituents, while reaching consensus on certain critical aspects for statewide consistency;

*   handling technological issues; and

*   advising on publishing letters to assessors (LTAs) with guidelines and standards for implementing virtual hearings across California.