"Compromise and closing agreements provide an efficient means of dealing with complex, uncertain issues," the commissioners said. "They have not been misused."However, they're losing the PR war. The Statesman's headline is "Tax commission defends secret corporate deals." So, they're on the defensive, and "secret corporate deals" just sounds like skulduggery is happening.
I can see that some challenges are expected, and some cases should be settled. However, if all cases are settled, the word gets out and everyone challenges their assessment. Should be easy enough to see what percentage of challenges result in lower taxes paid. Also, note that the Tax Commisssion has several Deputy Attorneys General dedicated to it, so the Commission certainly has the wherewithal to litigate challenges.
Even more interesting to me is that current employees of the Commission have raised this issue, and are talking to the media. I think more than just the whistleblower has been speaking out. Either the Commission is really open and supportive, or employees must not like the Commissioners.