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Feeling Blue

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Critics couldn't help but note that the state Franchise Tax Board's decision in August to yank the tax-exempt status of not-for-profit Blue Shield of California came only days after we reported that the company was
spending millions for a luxury box at Levi's Stadium.

"The skybox fell on their head," Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog said after the news surfaced last week that Blue Shield could now be on the hook for an estimated $40 million annually in state taxes.

Still, the timing was probably coincidental. After all, the tax board reportedly conducted a lengthy state audit to determine if Blue Shield's 76-year-old tax subsidy was still justified.

In any event, Court said, "they can keep the skybox, but their tax exemption for it is gone."