Saturday, December 23, 2006

Subsidize Off Road Also

Aren’t most recreational activities on public land subsidized to some point?

Off-road formula skewed
Survey: Spending exceeds what sport nets, raising doubts about park funding.
By M.S. Enkoji - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, December 23, 2006

A new survey shows state spending on off-road vehicle recreation is double what the sport contributes, which could mean cutbacks at off-road parks such as Prairie City near Rancho Cordova.

The survey for the state Department of Parks and Recreation concludes that the state has been relying on a skewed formula to collect a share of the state gasoline tax reserved for off-road vehicle recreation.

The 16-year-old formula used an estimate of five illegal, unregistered off-road vehicles for every registered one. That would have meant 202 million gallons of gasoline every year would be consumed by unregistered vehicles. But the new survey puts the ratio far below one unregistered vehicle for every legal one.

"It's a $56 million program and we're looking at a reduction of more than $29 million," said Daphne Green, a deputy director with the department.