BOE Wins “Best of California 2013” Technology Award

Sacramento – The Board of Equalization earned a 2013 Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations Project Excellence Award from the Center for Digital Government for its role in creating a less costly, more efficient debt-collection program – the Financial Institution Record Match Project. The FIRM project is a collaborative effort between the Board of Equalization, Franchise Tax Board, and Employment Development Department to streamline collection of tax and non-tax debt. FIRM is administered by FTB.

“This cooperative program shows that we can improve our practices through innovative information technology,” said BOE Executive Director Cynthia Bridges. “Greater state government effectiveness, with fewer demands on the private sector is a win-win.”

FIRM provides a joint-agency master record file of delinquent account information to various banking institutions on behalf of BOE, FTB, and EDD. These institutions then review the data to identify matches to their account holders. By submitting one data file with information from all three agencies, FIRM speeds up collection efforts, reducing state government and private sector costs.

The Best of California Awards program was established by the Center for Digital Government to recognize California state and local government and education organizations for their dedication, hard work, and contributions in information technology. The Best IT Collaboration Among Organizations Project Excellence Award recognizes special efforts to facilitate inter-organizational technology projects, governance initiatives, or data-share or data integration initiatives that lead to greater cooperation among organizations, government agencies or business units or demonstrated cross-governmental efforts that have resulted in an integrated solution to public service.

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The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects more than $53.7 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit

Ag-venture.  There are more than 450 farms and ranches in Calaveras County, and in Valley Springs you’ll find several opportunities for farm tours.  Both Moon Light Alpacas and RanchoNC Alpacas will take you behind the scenes at their ranches. The kids will love getting up close and personal with these oddly beautiful animals.  Call ahead for tours.La Contenta Golf Club

World-class golfing.  Honored by Golf Digest and around for more than 35 years, La Contenta Golf Club is considered one of Northern California’s best courses. This public/semi-private golf club also offers delightful breakfast and lunches at its Vista Grille, overlooking the 1st and 9th holes.

“Golf” of another kind.  Disc golf is popping up all over Calaveras County, but it’s the course at New Hogan Reservoir that takes the cake for being the best of the best.  This 18-hole disc golf course with rolling hills, gorgeous oaks and great views of the lake offers challenging play for the die-hards out there, but provide plenty of family-friendly play too.

Legit Thai food.  Don’t take our word for it, even the folks on Yelp are raving about the food at Thai House in Valley Springs.  They serve up all the favorites and then some.  Like it spicy? They will deliver the heat, just ask.  Locals from the entire county make the drive (in some cases over an hour) to eat here.

Villa Bakery

One of the best bakeries in the Foothills.  Speaking of cake, your sweet tooth will thank you when you stop at Villa Bakery.  But that’s not all, because this real bakery (that means fresh daily) also pleases with yummy breads, bagels, pies and pastries. Favorites include their “chocolate bomb,” ham and cheese croissants and authentic cannolis that will have you coming back time and time again.

Two words: Mongolian BBQ.  Yup, right where you wouldn’t expect it, Fusion Grill has brought Mongolian BBQ to the Foothills.  And it’s good.  Grab a bowl, pick your meats and veggies, add a little sauce, hand it over to the good folks behind the grill, and you’ve got yourself a meal perfectly suited to your liking.  A great place to take the family since you build your own bowl.

Coast to Crest Trail

An abundance of hiking.  Especially nice in the winter and spring when the temps are mild and you want to get outside minus your snow gear, there is no shortage of hiking opportunities near Valley Springs.  Try the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail, the China Gulch Trail at Lake Camanche or “The River of Skulls” nature trail at New Hogan Reservoir located below the dam at the Monte Vista Recreation Area.

Need a place to Stay in Valley Springs?  Check in to The 10th Green Inn (rooms overlook La Contenta Golf Course).


Photos Courtesy of: Villa Bakery, Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail, Calaveras Visitors Bureau

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