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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Politics and Charitable Checkoffs

Many posts have described the connections of politics, special interests, and charities.  Alexei Koseff reports at The Sacramento Bee:
As Californians finish their state taxes each spring, they can choose to make donations to nearly 20 causes – ranging from protection of endangered species to arts education to maintenance for police officer and firefighter memorials near the Capitol – that are then deductible the following year.
But rather than any broader assessment of the state’s most worthwhile and needy charities, the funds, which can generate several hundred thousand dollars per year, are created through a piecemeal approach that has benefited a handful of philanthropic groups favored by California lawmakers.
Those who have observed the process for years say the biggest hurdle to getting a tax checkoff is finding an author for the bill, because once introduced, legislators wary of the optics of rejecting a charity are unlikely to vote against it. As a result, it has primarily served community groups with connections to members or organizations that know the system.

Read more here: