Prop 21: Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State Parks and Wildlife Programs and Grants Free Admission to All State Parks to Surcharged Vehicles
Summary: Establishes an $18 annual state vehicle license surcharge and grants free admission to all state parks to surcharged vehicles. Requires deposit of surcharge revenue in a new trust fund. Requires that trust funds be used solely to operate, maintain and repair the state park system, and to protect wildlife and natural resources. Exempts commercial vehicles, trailers and trailer coaches from the surcharge. Requires annual independent audit and review by citizen’s oversight committee.
Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state revenues of about $500 million annually from the imposition of a surcharge on the VLF to be used mainly to fund state parks and wildlife conservation programs. Potential state savings of up to approximately $200 million annually to the extent that the VLF surcharge revenues were used to reduce support from the General Fund and other special funds for parks and wildlife conservation programs. Reduction of about $50 million annually in state and local revenues from state park day-use fees. These revenue losses could potentially be offset by increases in other types of state park user fees and revenues.
CCRC endorses a ‘YES’ vote on Prop 21
Prop 21 establishes a new earmarked fee. CCRC does not generally support earmarks as we recognize earmarked monies do not allow for the flexibility our legislature needs in order to manage the budget. However, this initiative creates a new revenue source and does so for an important aspect of California- our State parks which provide a valuable recreation and natural preservation resource for the state. Without this proposition, our state parks will very likely continue to fall below acceptable levels of maintenance.