Last Call for 5.4.22 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a multistate agreement with the company behind TurboTax that will claw back millions of dollars for Floridians.

The agreement settles allegations that Intuit, the company behind TurboTax and other financial software such as QuickBooks, tricked consumers into paying for tax services that should have been free.

“As a result of this multistate investigation, Intuit will have to pay more than $140 million in restitution for allegedly advertising free tax-preparation products and then directing many consumers to pay for upgrades in the service,” Moody said.

“Not only have we secured millions for those who were misled into paying for services that they could have obtained for free, we also stopped these deceptive practices both now and for future consumers of Intuit products.”

As a result of the multistate agreement, consumers across the nation will receive $141 million in restitution from Intuit. In addition, Intuit must suspend TurboTax’s “free, free, free” ad campaign that allegedly pushed consumers toward paid services after enticing them with promises of free ones. Intuit also blocked its IRS Free File landing page from search engine results.

Many consumers did not know they were using a paid product until they had already put time and effort into preparing their tax returns with TurboTax. Additionally, some consumers eligible for Intuit’s IRS Free File product were misled to believe that they needed to upgrade to a paid service.

Florida consumers are expected to receive approximately $10.3 million of the total settlement, which involves all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Consumers who used TurboTax’s Free Edition, but were charged in tax years 2016 through 2018, will automatically receive a direct payment of approximately $30 for each year they used the product.

Evening Reads

Ron DeSantis and the unlearned lessons of the GOP’s culture war” via Jelani Cobb of The New Yorker

Val Demings makes case for choice to Jacksonville Democrats” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics

What would state laws look like in a post-Roe world?” via Louis Jacobson of Politifact

Top DeSantis megadonor doesn’t ‘appreciate’ him targeting Disney” via Skyler Swisher of the Orlando Sentinel

‘Worst Governor in modern history’: Charlie Crist calls DeSantis ‘authoritarian’ in campaign anniversary speech” via Tristan Wood of Florida Politics

Will debate over abortion affect Florida Governor’s race? Democrats hope so” via Emily L. Mahoney of the Miami Herald

Analysts call for shock tactics to scare lawmakers into passing meaningful home insurance reform” via Ron Hurtibise of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

American consumers are shopping, traveling and working out like it’s 2019” via Rachel Wolfe and Sharon Terlep of The Wall Street Journal

Do Americans support abortion rights? Depends on the state.” via Nate Cohn of The New York Times

For women, despair and joy as overturning of Roe appears imminent” via Joanna Slater, Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, Sarah Fowler and Karin Brulliard of The Washington Post

Every party has a pooper — Airbnb cracks down on ‘unauthorized’ holiday parties” via Gabrielle Russon of Florida Politics

High gas prices are pushing electric car sales to a tipping point” via Nik Popli of Time

A better solution to America’s big hurricane problem” via Benji Jones of Vox

Quote of the Day

“This Governor is a bully. He imitates the worst of authoritarian leaders aligned against the United States. And he’s doing it for one reason — his ambition to capture the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2024.”

— U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, in a speech marking the one-year anniversary of his 2022 gubernatorial campaign.

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Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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