House Bill 91 (HB91) was introduced on Wednesday that would strip $750,000 from the Trail Safety Fund to help offset the state's expected budget shortfall. With the state's financial woes apparent to all, we knew that the sticker fund would again be a potential target. The bill targets the money in the Trail Safety Fund along with several other funds residing in state government. Our sticker fund is unique in that the money in the fund is made up entirely of user fees, not general taxes paid in by the general population.
The $750,000 is roughly half the amount currently in the fund. The OHV sticker fund has only one source of money - the taxes we OHVer's pay when we register our OHV's. The fund was established by the 2005 OHV Act. The 2005 OHV Act was 'sold' to the Legislature and the public as a commitment to safety, education and providing trails for OHV recreation and the sticker fund was supposed to pay for those programs. NMOHVA supported that Act. Now our trust is being betrayed again.
WHAT WE HAVE TO DO: We have a new governor and many new representatives and senators. We will have to re-educate them that the OHV Sticker Fund (the Trail Safety Fund) is not like other state funds. The money in this fund is made up entirely of USER fees that we already paid when we registered our OHV's. This money was promised to go into education and improvements in the State's OHV Program, not make up for previous budget decisions. We understand our state has budget problems but this money is OUR user fees and we must insist it get spent as promised!
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT: Your NMOHVA will be sending out another Legislative Update in the coming days telling you specifically how you can help stop this raid of the sticker fund. Please help us spread the word by forwarding this and the upcoming update to your friends, family, co-workers, and riding buddies.
We have successfully stopped sticker funds raids before and, with everyone's help, we can stop it again.
Your NMOHVA Board of Directors
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