Corporations Find Ways Around Conflict of Interest Rules at CA Tax Board

The obscure yet powerful California Board of Equalization (BOE) is a petri dish for how companies skirt conflict of interest rules.

The nation's only elected tax board decides cases involving sales, property, or income taxes; and the agency collects dozens of taxes and fees, which generates nearly $60 billion in revenue. Because of their power, the Legislature passed a law that board members must recuse themselves or return contributions before voting on issues affecting companies that have given them $250 or more in the preceding 12 months. 

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