A plan to charge an additional $9 for every Michigan license plate sold could replace the annual state park stickers if a new proposal comes to fruition.
Entrance to parks, and boat access sites would be covered, but camping fees would not be covered. Out-of-state visitors would still have to pay for daily or yearly vehicle permits.
Unless something is done, there will be a $5.3 million dollar deficit in the 2008 state park budget. Ron Olson, state parks chief at the DNR, says the surcharge would raise $35 million. This would easily cover the shortage.
The state of Montana has a similar plan. Residents there can choose to opt out of the surcharge, but only about 15% of residents actually do so.
One nice feature of the proposal is that 10% of the revenue would be set aside to fund local recreation programs through grants.
So far, this is just in the proposal stage. The Citizens Committee for State Parks is responsible for crafting the idea. The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will need to work to craft a bill which would be presented to the legislature. A sub-committee of the NRC did discuss the idea on Thursday.
Currently, Michigan State Park vehicle passes are $6 a day, or $24 a year.
from Capital News Service
Read the entire story in the Traverse City Record-Eagle
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