TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, August 27, 2010

BNA: Pay to Win -- Campaign Contributions Produce California Taxpayer Victories

BNA Logo BNA Daily Tax Report, Campaign Contributions and the California State Board of Equalization:

Taxpayers with complex tax dispute cases before the California State Board of Equalization were more likely to win their cases if they or their representatives made campaign contributions to the elected board members, either directly or through political action committees, according to a detailed examination by Daily Tax Report, a BNA publication.

In a series of reports, BNA examined the outcomes of 70 complex, high-stakes cases argued before the board between 2002 and 2009, and compared those cases to publicly available campaign finance records.

BNA found more than $1 million in contributions to board members from taxpayers or their representatives who argued those cases before the board. All of the contributions were legal, and contributors who spoke to BNA denied any causality between their contributions and success before the board.

Political Contribution

No. of Cases

TP Success Rate

< $250



$250 - $16,000



$16,001 - $50,000



$50,001 - $137,000



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just shows how absolutely crazy the California tax system is!!

Posted by: Jack Cronin | Aug 28, 2010 1:12:09 PM