A fee or a tax – it still comes out of your pocket


A fee or a tax – it still comes out of your pocket

This goes to the age old concept that covers many services provided by the Government. We all pay taxes so we should all get — pick a service – education, streets, police, fire, library, and the like. This article talks about a ballot initiative that would charge everyone registering a car in California a “state park fee” and then allow any registered car in the state to enter parks for “free”. Similar issue, we all will be taxed so state parks will get the money they need to stay open, but only some of us will actually use the parks.

Mark puts the idea in perspective:

This is an interesting approach.  Currently you pay a fee for parking (access) to State Parks in Calif, and those fees are used to maintain the parks.  As with most public facilities the parks require additional subsidy, so those monies are taken from the general fund.  They have placed an initiative on the ballot where EVERY car registration throughout the State would increase by $18/yr, but EVERY registered car would then get free access to any State Park and no general fund revenues would be spent on the Parks (savings of approx $130 million).

I know that this basic approach is used by many Universities and Colleges with respect to transit passes where everybody pays an extra “$X” as part of their student fees and gets an unlimited local transit pass.  The idea is that only a certain % will use them so that even though the potential ridership is beyond the capabilities of the system there is very little chance that they’d ever see that occur.  Why not apply the same idea to public parking?  Do a calculation of the revenues, expenses and subsidies related to all the parking operations in a community and divide that by the number of registered cars.  Come up with an added registration fee and then allow any registered vehicle free parking at designated facilities, or give them some sort of special rate?  If they want to park at certain “premium” spaces they would still pay the market rate, but that would be their choice.

So, let’s see. Instead of raising taxes or actually reducing costs, they pull a maneuver and charge a new “fee” to everyone. That “fee” is actually a tax. It’s a tax to pay for state parks, or in Mark’s case, it’s a tax to pay for parking. Sorry, but from my point of view, if you want to go to the state park, pay for it, if you want to park, pay for it. It’s the only thing that makes any sense. I’ll talk about education and cops and firemen some other time


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