Explore State Parks for Free, Tax Resources, Storm Preparedness

February 24, 2023


In this edition of our resource corner, discover free opportunities to explore the great outdoors at our state parks, access tax resources, learn about grants to beautify local roads, find details on the California Competes Tax Credit available to businesses and read useful resources on storm preparedness.


Explore State Parks for Free

  • There are great opportunities to explore the great outdoors with your family and friends. Here are three ways to get outside and save money once the weather warms up:
  • Fourth graders can obtain a free California State Park Adventure Pass to explore 19 select state parks for free for a full school year.
  • All Californians can check out a California State Parks Library Pass by using their library cards to access more than 200 participating state park units.
  • Families receiving California Work Opportunity and Responsibility for Kids (CalWORKs)‚ individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)‚ and income-eligible Californians 62 and over can apply for the Golden Bear Pass with their smartphone or other web-based device in just minutes and have access to more than 200 California state park units.

Tax Resources

  • Middle Class Tax Refund NOT Taxable: The MCTR payment is not taxable for California state income tax purposes. You do not need to claim the payment as income on your California income tax return.
  • The California Earned Income Tax Credit: The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) offers support for low-income, working Californians. You may be eligible for up to $3,417 cash back or a reduction of the tax you owe.
  • Young Child Tax Credit: You may qualify for up to $1,083 cash back if you had a child under the age of 6 at the end of the tax year.
  • CalFile: Use CalFile to e-file your state tax return directly to the Franchise Tax Board. Get real-time confirmation and the fastest refund possible. And best of all, it’s free.
  • IRS Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers: The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals, including people who generally make $60,000 or less, persons with disabilities; and limited English-speaking taxpayers.
  • IRS Tools: The IRS has a variety of online tools available for individual taxpayers, businesses, and tax professionals. From ordering copies of tax records to checking the status of your income tax refund and finding out what credits and deductions you qualify for, this list of tools is a great place to start! 

Clean California Funding

  • With more than 1.3 million cubic yards of trash cleaned from California highways since 2021, the Clean California Initiative is launching a new round of funding for $100 million in grants for local projects. Apply for the Clean California grants here by 5 p.m. on April 28. Caltrans will announce the winning grant recipients by September. Potential projects can include, removing litter on city streets, creating a gateway at the entrance to a town or neighborhood, beautifying an area through greening or landscaping, or using public art to reinforce community cultural connections.

California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC)

  • The next California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) application period starts Monday, March 6, 2023, with at least $99.7 million in available tax credits. Businesses interested in applying can register to view a live webinar explaining the application process. Upcoming webinars are on March 8, 2023 and March 16, 2023. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, March 20, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) and the online application website will automatically close once this deadline has passed.  The online application can be accessed starting March 6, 2023, at www.calcompetes.ca.gov.   

Storm Preparedness