Friday, October 27, 2006
We previously have blogged the unfortunate demise of the California Ready Return pilot program. The L.A. Times (Money Floods Race for Controller) reports on the big money being spent to ensure that the program remains dead:
In recent days, Intuit has placed $1 million into a committee called the Alliance for California's Tomorrow. That group has spent $66,000 on Strickland's behalf so far. ... Intuit has inserted itself into the controller's campaign as part of its fight to block the Franchise Tax Board from simplifying the state income tax filing process. From his post on the Board of Equalization, Chiang embraced "ReadyReturn," a program designed to remove some of the agony of tax season by having the government complete low-income Californians' tax returns.The program alarms Intuit. If it were to be fully implemented, ReadyReturn could threaten sales of one of the company's most successful software programs: TurboTax. Facing a fierce lobbying effort by Intuit, the Legislature this year blocked the state from spending money on ReadyReturn.
"They spent a fortune to kill a pilot program California liked," said Stanford University law professor Joe Bankman, who helped develop ReadyReturn. "Now they are spending a fortune to make sure they get someone sympathetic elected."