SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State officials have stripped Blue Shield of California of its tax-exempt status, an exemption the nonprofit health insurer has held since its founding in 1939.
The Los Angeles Times reports Wednesday that the California Franchise Tax Board quietly made the revocation last August.READ MORE: Closed Portion Of Highway 50 In El Dorado County To Reopen Tuesday
The decision could put Blue Shield on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in state taxes each year. The insurer has paid federal taxes for years.
A spokeswoman for the tax agency declined to comment on the reasons the exemption was stripped. The highly unusual action comes after a lengthy state audit.READ MORE: Suspicious Package In Stockton Deemed Safe, Deputies Say
The newspaper says the move comes as the state’s third-largest health insurer faces fresh criticism over its rate hikes, executive pay and financial reserves.
San Francisco-based Blue Shield is protesting the decision.MORE NEWS: 'Likely' Power Shutoffs To Impact Multiple NorCal Counties Amid Red Flag Warning
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