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PARKS: Proposed fees will hurt the poor

Letter by Jerry Premo, Gig Harbor on Feb. 11, 2011 at 9:21 am with 16 Comments »
February 11, 2011 10:04 am

Recent articles about plans to charge high fees to visit state parks have me concerned. Elite user groups are telling legislators in Olympia the fees seem reasonable, but no one is speaking for the struggling families out there.

Democrats in Olympia, in their haste to blindly comply with the governor’s desire to no longer fund the parks, have kicked the poor families to the curb. Struggling families will be forced to do a U-turn when they get to the parks this summer and find out they need a $30 annual pass or have to pay $10 for a day pass.

For many of these families, a day at the park is their “staycation” and all they can afford. To the elite, the proposed fees maybe OK. But to a poor family the fees will be draconian and keep them from enjoying the parks they already own.

Democrats used to watch out for the poor when they made policy. Now it’s the Republicans who are saying fees should be the last resort because they will keep many struggling families from enjoying the parks.

Why are fee increases the only ideas out of Olympia. Where are the ideas to reform the parks, make operations more efficient and eliminate waste? The Democrats have lost their way on this proposal and instead have decided to punish the poor families with their idea for high fees. Shame on them.

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Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. Roncella says:

    Jerry, Your so right. Many folks are having a tough time right now especially in todays economy.

    The dems in Olympia have spent and spent their way into a terrible deficit, now they are trying to get themselves out of the mess they created by taxing every thing they can.

  2. mosescoolj says:

    The legislature should rescind the money from the welfare recipients who spend it on casinos, strip clubs and drugs and use to that money to pay for parks. There are many ways to cut the fat off the budget rather than putting tolls on parks. The legislature just doesn’t want to lose votes from the crack heads, gambling addicts and perverts so they don’t want to do what’s right.

  3. TheOutlawJoseyWhales says:

    Excuse me, did this say it would hurt the poor? You mean the ones who use public land to manufacture meth-amphetamines? The ones who use them as a garbage dump? Who leave their poisonous chemicals and containers, their used needles and condoms, and their excrement for everyone else to step in? Please, don’t try to speak for the “poor.” Straw-man arguments are just plain stupid.

  4. olympicmtn says:

    Listen a new definition of being poor is buying gadgets for yourself and kids without saving!
    My family pays $170a day yes day in property and income tax. We can’t buy fancy gadgets. We save for retirement and don’t expect people to pay for us imagine that! I am so tired of hearing about the poor most define the poor as if they can’t go to the movies or buy junk food. Well a lot of people can’t go out for entertainment and that includes many who pay a lot in taxes!

  5. truthbusterguy says:

    Why does the Gov. not want to fund state parks any longer? Parks are a priority for all of our quality of life. I agree many struggling families will have to stop using the parks because they live payday to payday.

    Why are they cutting K-12 education and parks and continuing to fund programs that help illegals?

    Every idea out of Olympia has additional fees attached to it. Don’t the dems listen to the voters?

    Fees is democrat code for NEW Taxes. So far they propose new fees for:
    state parks
    increased drivers lic. fees
    permit fees
    congestion relief fees
    storm water fees
    gas fees to protect storm water
    fee for electric cars
    fishing and hunting lic. fee increases
    tech fee, tuition increase
    fee to drive on beaches
    annual fee for museum’s
    ferry fare increases
    toll increase
    on line education fee
    medical marijuana

    And they have only been in session for 35 days! They are just getting warmed up.

  6. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    What is missing is the discussion about reforming every department of state government. In her “state of the State” address the Governor said now is the time for real reform. All I see with these fee increases is more of the same. They want to use the budget for unions, tribes, and social programs for the entitlement segment of this state’s society. They will be mad at democrats if they have to get a job. Democrats showed their true colors when they approved the budget that cut education so they can continue to fund health care for illegals.

    We all need to call Seaquist and Kilmer and tell them to “just say no” to new taxes and fees. Angel has already said she doesn’t support attitional taxes and fees.

    Save the parks for everyone. The money is there if they will just spend it properly. They refuse to fund the priorities so they don’t have to eliminate programs that only buy them votes.

    For parks, keep them in the general fund and let people donate more than the now allowed $5. Where are the good ideas that will keep the parks open? Legislators need to use their heads and stop following the path of least resistance and just propose a fee increase to solve every problem. Stop the insanity. Want an example; they want a $100 for using an electric car on the road because you are not paying the gas tax to them.

    Thank you Tim Eyman for I-1053. Without your help we would all be doomed from the tax and spend mentality in Olympia. We owe you one.

  7. bobcat1a says:

    Taxed-you can already donate as much money as you want to the parks. Feel free to send more You think electric cars won’t wear out the roads like other cars? They don’t levitate you know.

  8. Oh, for Pete’s sake! Everything is an evil plot against the poor, depending on whose perspective is considered.

    This letter is almost as ridiculous as Lakewood’s casino dilemma was. Gambling is bad because it ruins more poor people’s lives but we can’t close the casinos because it would eliminate low-wage jobs, which is unfair to poor people.

  9. redneckbuck says:

    If this state was worried about the poor we would not tax gas or clothing.

  10. Redneck — then what would we tax?

  11. Is there a mature Republican on the face of the earth/ All states are in financial crisis not just states run by the Dems. The gopcult has been great at teaching their uneducated everything is the Dems fault. It is disgusting how the gopcult exploits these people with outright lies, myths and delusions.

  12. sue — Have you considered anger management courses? Do you have any friends? Does your family forget to tell you what time holiday dinners are?

  13. redneckbuck says, “If this state was worried about the poor we would not tax gas or clothing.”

    With our regressive sales tax and lack of an income tax, one can only wonder if we’re trying to make sure the poor stay poor.

  14. vickistired says:

    Why not keep the general use fee low, so that parks are available to those with less disposable income; while increasing the fees for backcountry hiking, climbing (where applicable, like Mt Rainier for example) and other specialized uses?

  15. gmborting says:

    Here’s a novel idea. If you want to keep parks open, clean and maintained for all of our use, require those who take any form of public assistance to work 40 hours a week in those parks, national parks, roads, trail maintenance, etc. We already are paying a viable work force to sit in their tax payer provided home and watch television, so require them to work.

    No work, no check. Simple eh.

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