Auto Industry Group and Enterprise Rent-A-Car Finance Campaign Against Prop 21, the State Parks Measure
Malibu Creek State Park | Photo by magnetic lobster via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
Two auto industry-related companies have made donations to fight Prop 21, the November ballots measure that would add an $18 annual fee for vehicle registrations to fund state parks. On Thursday Enterprise Holdings, parent company of car rental companies such as Alamo, Enterprise and National, donated $25,000 (.pdf) to Stop the Car Tax Scam -- No on 21, which is listed on campaign filings as "a coalition including the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures, Inc."
The Alliance itself donated another $25,000 (.pdf) and represents 11 vehicle manufacturers, including BMW Group, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen Group of America.
Despite being "committed to developing and implementing constructive solutions to public policy challenges that promote sustainable mobility and benefit society in the areas of environment, energy and motor vehicle safety," the Alliance president David McCurdy said they fear that "the arbitrary, non-transportation related taxation of the product we manufacture will set a dangerous precedent," according to Stuart Leavenworth at the Sacramento Bee.
Leavenworth sees hypocrisy in this and noted that car manufactures love using California's state parks for their commercials (22 permits for filming car commercials at state parks were granted in 2009). "State parks are a big reason Californians like to go on weekend trips, which is why automakers like to film their commercials there," he said. "While no company likes to have its product taxed, Prop. 21 will likely encourage Californians to take more weekend trips, since day-use at parks will be free."
Both companies, which make up 100% of the donations to the no campaign so far, yet are not listed on the official No on 21 website, were contacted for this article, but could not immediately respond in time of publish. The Yes on 21 website can be found here.