Once considered the best in the nation, California's state parks are falling apart due to chronic underfunding and mismanagement. The park system has a backlog of $1 billion in deferred maintenance and, last year, 150 of California's parks closed part-time or suffered service reductions.
What's the solution? Supporters of Prop 21 believe that the answer lies in a new car tax. If Prop 21 passes in November, California drivers will have to pony up an additional 18 bucks when they register their cars. In exchange, California drivers will be able to use state parks during the day without paying an entrance fee.
Does it make sense to tax drivers to subsidize park users? What's the alternative?
Reason.TV went to Sedona, Arizona and met with Warren Meyer of Recreation Resource Management. As Meyer explained, California doesn't need a car tax to save its parks. Instead, California should contract with private park management companies that can manage parks more efficiently than public agencies while actually paying rent to the government for the right to do so.
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