Sunday, May 10, 2009

When a Fee is not a Fee. (Or, Another Way to Tax You)

"House Bill 4678 would amend the Motor Vehicle Code to require the Secretary of State to charge a state park, public boating access site, and forest recreation passport fee of $10 ($5 for motorcycles) to the owners of motor vehicles (except for commercial vehicles) when the vehicle is registered or its registration is renewed, beginning January 1, 2010. 

Motor vehicle owners would not have to pay the applicable recreation passport fee if they affirm on the registration application that they do not intend to use the motor vehicle to enter any state park or recreation area, state public boating access site, or state forest campground, or to provide access to any state forest non motorized trail or pathway during the registration period."

The definition of a fee is a renumeration for a service rendered. If you want to use the park, you pay a fee. Under this legislation, everybody pays regardless if they ever enter a state park or recreation area. So, you are no longer paying a fee to use the park, you are being taxed for the state having a park, whether you use it or not. 

The question that must be asked is how much more revenue does this bring to the state coffers? As far as I am concerned, this is why they are making the change. It is simply a way to tax you more and increase state revenue without calling it a tax increase.

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