Vehicle license fee for state parks qualifies for ballot
June 12, 2010
Voters will now decide in November whether to add an $18 surcharge on the vehicle license fee to fund California state parks and wildlife refuges. [San Francisco Chronicle]
Supporters submitted over 750,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office. The qualification announcement was made on Thursday.
The proposed measure stems from past attempts by Gov. Schwarzenegger to reduce funding for state parks. Last year’s budget forced 60 of California’s 278 state parks to close and another 90 to reduce park services. There is a current backlog of needed maintenance projects of $1.3 billion.
Under the initiative, which would require a simple majority to pass, motorists would pay an additional $18 a year when registering vehicles. In return, they get free admission to state parks and some wildlife areas. The free admission would not apply to camping, tour fees, swimming pool fees, boating facilities, museum or special event fees.
Analysts predict that the measure could generate an extra $500 million per year from the 28 million vehicles registered each year in the state.