The TRUTH about OHMVR Divi$ion funding

It is often said that “?we”, healing  meaning the ORV (Off-Road Vehicle) users at State Parks such as Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRA), allergist purchased the Tesla Park land.  This statement is misleading and inaccurate.

In 1997/1998, diet the period during which most of the Tesla property was purchased, 79% of the OHMVR Division Budget, was from Fuel Tax Transfers. The other 21% of the budget was made up of park entrance fees, green sticker fees and miscellaneous other state contributions. Ã? Green stickers are the special DMV registration program for motorcycles and All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) that can legally use SVRAs.

The amount of the Fuel Tax Transfer was based on a 1990 study and Department of Finance analysis which included estimates of all 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) and 2-Wheel Drive (2WD) vehicles, legal and illegal ORV vehicles and miles driven on dirt roads in the formula.  A 1999 analysis of the Fuel Tax Transfers showed that only 9% of the fuel tax transfers were actually attributable to legal green sticker vehicles eligible to use SVRAs such as Carnegie SVRA.

This was the general composition of the OHMVR Division budget until 2008 when new legislation (SB 742) reauthorizing the OHMVR Division approved the doubling of sticker fees.  Today the OHMVR Budget is about 69% Fuel Tax Transfers and 24% park entrance fees and green sticker fees and 7% miscellaneous other state contributions.  In 2006 a new Fuel Tax Transfer study was conducted that found that that only 13.3% of the fuel tax transfers were attributable to legal green sticker vehicles eligible to use State Vehicular Recreation Areas such as Carnegie SVRA and over 82% was for 4WD and 2WD vehicles driving on dirt roads for all recreation purposes, including to and from camping, picnicking, fishing and hiking.  The 2006 study also determined that the Fuel Tax Transfers to the OHMVR Division were actually 2 TIMES as much as they should be based upon actual off-highway vehicle use, but the reauthorization bill did not change the OHMVR Division’s funding.

It is misleading and inaccurate to state that ORV users paid for the Tesla Park land.  The general recreation public paid for the vast majority of Tesla Park.  The OHMVR Division and ORV users have successfully lobbied the State legislature to misdirect a large portion of Fuel Tax Transfers to ORV use parks that no other State Park has.

ORV users did not exclusively pay for Tesla Park  – all people that purchase gas in the State of California paid for the vast majority of Tesla Park.  Because Tesla Park is public state park land, it is important that we ask ?what is the best public use for this historically and culturally significant, biologically diverse and unique and wonderfully scenic park land?

The answer is unquestionably, not as expansion of Carnegie SVRA as an Off-Road Vehicle park.