Some state workers work out of state

A look at the most recent figures on state worker payroll released by the state controller’s office reveals that being an employee of the state of California doesn’t mean you have to work in California.

According to the January list of active employees,  423 state of California employees work out of state in such places as Chicago, New York City and Houston.

The state controller’s office is putting together a rundown on which California state departments have these offices outside the state.

The Franchise Tax Board said it has offices in New York and Chicago, as well as one in Houston, a city that doesn’t appear on the controller’s list. But the FTB said its staff did not account for all the 156 people in New York and the 147 in Chicago.

FTB spokesman John Barrett said the out-of-state offices  “are primarily responsible for uniformly administering and promoting self-assessment of the California Bank and Corporation Tax Law for corporations that do business both within and without California.”

He said the audits involved companies that ranged in size “from the middle-size corporations operating in several states to the largest, most complex, multinational corporations in the world. “

Barrett also said the offices provide a “public counter” for California citizens.

The tax board says it had 34 employees in Houston, 62 in Chicago and 82 in Manhattan as of Jan. 10.

The state Board of Equalization said it also has offices out of state in New York, Chicago and Houston.  Those include 81 in Chicago, 74 in New York and 28 in Houston, according to board spokeswoman Anita Gore. Most of the employees are auditors, who are available for companies who do business in California but have headquarters outside California where they keep their records. Positioning the employees outside California cuts down on travel time and improves access to information, Gore said.

It is unclear if any other departments have employees out of state and why the controller doesn’t list the offices in Houston.  

The controller’s report outlines some 284,000 public employees who received paychecks and other payments totaling about $1.4 billion this January. About $329 million was withheld for state and federal taxes, and payroll deductions.

The figures include payments to some 238,000 full-time, part-time and intermittent employees in state government, about 47,000 workers at the California State University and about two dozen employees of the state Judicial Council, the state administrative officer of the courts. The figures do not include government workers at the University of California and local government entities.  

The average government check for January was about $5,970.  

State Controller John Chiang, who signs state paychecks, provided details of the dollars and related data on his Web site.  

The total number of active state employees, as of Jan. 31, was put at 237,654, a figure that includes 210,390 full-time employees, 3,490 part-time workers, 23,725 intermittent employees and 49 indeterminate employees. The part-time figure may also include workers who hold more than one part-time government position.

The controller also said that about two-thirds of public employees have set up direct deposit with their banks. The controller also issued more than 148,000 payroll warrants, or paper checks.

The payments, whether electronic or in paper form, generally reflect paychecks, but may also include such items as expense and travel reimbursements.

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