As documented by the State’s own fuel tax studies, the OHMVR program and OHV expansion is supported by excessive fuel tax transfers that have nothing to do with OHV recreation. The State conducted a study of fuel taxes transferred to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division in 2007 and 2006 and again in a just released updated study.
The errors in fuel tax transfers are in three main categories: 1) OHMVR gets fuel taxes for “motorized access to non- motorized recreation” (e.g., hiking, camping, fishing, etc.); 2) overestimate of unregistered OHVs in use; and 3) overestimate of street legal 4WD/AWD vehicles engaged in OHV recreation use. As a result, the OHMVR Division receives more than double the fuel tax that it rightly should based on use.
With State Parks own surveys showing that OHV recreation is a small fraction of total outdoor recreation use and demand, and attendance at many OHV riding areas such a Carnegie SVRA actually decreasing, as a matter of fiscal accountability, transparency, and simple fairness and balance, the OHV fuel tax transfers need to be corrected.
At the least, fuel taxes associated with “motorized access to non-motorized recreation” should be redirected so that other State Parks and other parks systems rightly receive fuel tax funds to support access to non-motorized recreation. SB 249 starts to correct this boondoggle.