Would You Be OK with New Tax to Support State Parks, Recreation Areas?
Tax -happy Governor Jay Inslee seems to be ok with picking our pockets, except when it comes to state parks and recreation facilities.
A Blue Ribbon state commission has released a report saying they recommend a new tax that would help support keeping state parks and recreation areas open, and prevent further closures. According to Northwest Cable News Monday:
"The final report from the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Parks and Outdoor Recreation recommends a sales tax on bottled water and an excise tax on motor homes and travel trailers. They could collect $100 million in the next two-year budget." (Bold lettering added for emphasis).
The reason this could become a hot button issue is where the money goes. It's no secret Washington voters are soundly against most new taxes. Gregoire's (and later Inslee's) ideas for taxing bottled water went down in flames - in fact the tax was repealed after it had been passed in 2010.
But our state is also facing a dire situation when it comes to parks and recreation. As far back as 2012, Washington state parks have been "scorched" as OregonLive reported, due to the tax structure used to fund the parks.
Many state parks have been closing earlier in the fall, and recreation seasons often shortened. Some parks didn't open at all the last two years, due to budget shortfalls.
It's interesting the Inslee can favor taxes to support his pet environmental green agenda, but when it comes to outdoor recreation, parks and related services are often one of the first things cut when the state does try to reduce costs.
Inslee did not endorse the tax idea for state parks.