Reed Saxon / Associated Press file

Sea otters, such as one seen in 2005 at Morro Bay, are among those benefiting from charities listed on state tax forms. SB 1207 would set new standards for the listing.

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  • Budget watch

    State tax revenue continued to outpace budget estimates last month, with year-to-date revenue now $1.4 billion more than the Brown administration projected, the state Department of Finance reported Tuesday. The report is the last benchmark ahead of April, a heavy month for income tax revenue. If revenue remains higher than projected in coming months, Gov. Jerry Brown is likely to face increased pressure from Democratic lawmakers and social service advocates to free up spending.

    – David Siders

The Buzz: California bill would revamp tax checkoff program

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014 - 11:00 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014 - 11:25 pm

Legislation would review the charities on tax form

Californians rushing to wrap up their 2013 taxes on Tuesday could choose from 20 charitable causes to support on their state tax forms.

From sea otters to the California Senior Legislature, voluntary tax form contributions raised about $4.8 million in 2012. More than $102 million has been donated through the program since it began in 1982.

Pending legislation would revamp the program, with the goal of making it fairer and allowing more charities to tap into taxpayers’ charitable impulses.

Senate Bill 1207 by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, would require charitable organizations to meet certain standards before they could qualify for space on the form. A state office would oversee the new program and, along with the Franchise Tax Board, work out its details by 2017.

The bill is opposed by the California Association of Food Banks and California Professional Firefighters. Both participate in efforts that receive money from existing tax checkoffs.

“The hard reality is, you know, the more that are on the list, the more the revenues are shared,” said Christy Bouma, a lobbyist for the firefighters union.

– Jim Miller

Worth repeating

“After awhile, you kind of feel that you deserve all the perks of office, because you’ve suffered so much, you’ve given up so much.”

SEN. LELAND YEE, in December, telling the Voice of OC why some in public life become corrupt



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