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Saving State Parks Could Mean a $15 Vehicle Fee

Malibu Creek State Park would be closed under the proposal | Photo by patrickwoodward via Flickr
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An annual $15 vehicle fee proposed by a state budget committee yesterday could save 80% of state parks currently threatened to be closed amidst the budget crisis. The Ventura County Star explains:

Under the plan, all motorists would pay a $15 surcharge on the license fees they pay each year to register their vehicles. The surcharge would yield about $220 million — enough to keep parks open, allow anyone with a California license to enter and park for free at state parks and leave enough left over to make some debt payments on outstanding park bonds. The action by conference committee, however, made clear that if the license fee surcharge is not approved there will be no money in the state general fund to support parks and they would be forced to close.

For all of this to happen, two-thirds of the legislature needs to approve it, but with Republicans and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger not too keen on new taxes, the fate of state parks is still anyone's guess.

For those of you on Facebook, the California State Park Foundation has set up a fan page for their Save Our State Parks campaign.