DAVID R. DOERR
Longtime tax policy analyst Dave Doerr, considered by many to be California’s foremost tax expert, passed away on June 15 at his home in Carmichael.
Literally the man who wrote the book on California taxes, Doerr was the author of California’s Tax Machine: A History of Taxing and Spending in the Golden State. “Nobody else in California — or anywhere — has Doerr’s depth of first-hand knowledge of California tax law,” wrote Associated Press reviewer Doug Willis.
Doerr was the chief consultant for the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee for 23 years, leaving in 1987 to become the chief tax consultant for the California Taxpayers Association, also known as CalTax. He was a veteran, having served two years in the Army before beginning his career with the Legislature. An avid writer, he edited a unit newspaper while in the service and later founded the Caltaxletter, continuing to contribute material for the popular newsletter even in semi-retirement.
Doerr played a crucial role in the implementation of Proposition 13, chairing the task force that developed the laws to put Prop. 13 into effect after voters overwhelmingly approved it in 1978.
A San Jose native, Doerr earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from San Jose State University and completed additional graduate-level work at the University of California.
Doerr was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine, and is survived by two children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
“Dave Doerr was one of a kind,” said HJTA president Jon Coupal. “We will miss his advice, his humor and, most of all, his friendship.”