The State Board of Equalization announced June 27 that it has chosen Cynthia Bridges, former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue, to serve as executive director.
"Ms. Bridges is a proactive and visionary executive who brings extensive experience to the BOE," BOE Chairman Jerome Horton said. "She offers proven leadership that will help guide the BOE in fulfilling its mission of providing fair, effective and efficient tax administration."
"I am honored and humbled to be appointed executive director," Ms. Bridges said. "I look forward to working with the board and staff to advance BOE's vision and create innovative solutions to help the citizens and businesses of California succeed."
Ms. Bridges resigned her position in Louisiana on June 15, after serving since 2000 during the administrations of three governors. The Associated Press reported: "Bridges' two-page letter to the governor highlighted a list of accomplishments during her tenure, including implementation of a new integrated tax system, increased electronic tax filings, expanded website services, reorganization of tax divisions and exceeding the revenue forecast annually since 2008."
From 1998 to 2000, Ms. Bridges served as the deputy secretary director of the Louisiana Department of Revenue, and she previously served as the director of the Excise Taxes Division of that state's Department of Revenue from 1997 to 1998. She is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the Strategic Leadership for State Executives course at Duke University, the Re-engineering Management Training at the IBM Business Partner Executive Institute in New York, the Fundamentals of Money Management Program at the Wharton School of the Aresty Institute of Executive Education in Philadelphia, and has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette.
The search for a long-term executive director began in September 2010 after the retirement of Ramon Hirsig, who had served in that position since 2004. Kristine Cazadd served as interim executive director for one year following Mr. Hirsig's retirement, and in October 2011 was officially appointed executive director, but with an explanation that she would serve temporarily while the board continued to search for a long-term director. The BOE announced that Ms. Cazadd plans to retire in the fall after serving the BOE for 22 years.
In other action from the BOE's June 25-27 meetings in Sacramento:
New Assistant Chief Counsel Named. The BOE announced that it has appointed Robert Tucker as assistant chief counsel. "Mr. Tucker has distinguished himself throughout his 26-year career with the BOE," Chairman Horton said. Mr. Tucker began his career with the BOE as a tax auditor in 1986, and in 1998 he was admitted to the State Bar after graduating from McGeorge School of Law. His appointment is effective immediately, and he replaces Randy Ferris, who was promoted to the chief counsel position in March.
Little Public Participation in Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Hearings. The board held its annual Taxpayers' Bill of Rights hearings June 26, giving the public an opportunity to address the board on issues relating to business taxes and property taxes. Only four people signed up to speak during the hearings, and two of those weren't on hand when it came time to testify.
The two people who participated in the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights hearings raised two issues:
New Problems Discovered at BOE Building. It looks like the doo doo has really hit the fan this time, with more problems being discovered at the Board of Equalization's Sacramento headquarters. The BOE announced June 22 that waste lines are corrupted in the building. Troubles surfaced May 4 during a clearing of a clogged drain on the sixth floor. A pipe ruptured on floor five, revealing extensive corrosion on floors 7, 14 and 21. The 24-story building has an extensive history of problems, including mold, leaks, bursting pipes, elevator problems, toxic substances and falling exterior windows. CalTax and the Service Employees International Union have been supporting efforts to sell the building. (Source: The Sacramento Bee, June 22.)
June 29, 2012
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