Published: Friday, Jun. 3, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Chronic budget problems have state parks facing closures and service cutbacks. But California State Parks' Off-Highway Vehicle Division has remained relatively well off.
The eight OHV parks – which include Prairie City State Vehicular Recreation Area near Rancho Cordova – provide a place for dirt bike, all-terrain vehicle and dune buggy enthusiasts to enjoy relatively unfettered thrills.The OHV Division has been insulated from money woes affecting California parks because, according to state tax law, most of its revenue comes from a slice of gas taxes attributed to off-road vehicle use.
The tax brings the division $65 million annually, enough to produce a surplus of several million dollars every year.
It's a relatively large sum compared with state general fund support for the other 270 state parks, which shrinks to $99 million next year.
As a result, critics have long pressed the division to share fuel tax revenue with the other parks, especially considering that many conventional parks have decaying dirt roads that visitors use to reach trailheads, campgrounds and other amenities.http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/03/3673670/public-eye-lawmakers-take-10-million.html