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House Bill 93 — Parks and recreation, fees

House Bill 93 — Parks and recreation, fees

by
Parrish Miller
February 7, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 93 increases non-resident fees at Idaho state parks by an estimated $1.4 million. 

Rating: -1

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?

House Bill 93 amends Section 67-4223, Idaho Code, to require that nonresident entry fees and nonresident fees for camping be "substantially double" those charged to state residents at "no fewer than five (5) state parks" by Jan. 1, 2022.

The bill gives the park and recreation board authority to increase fees for nonresidents beyond the fee caps established in the Idaho administrative code. It also says, "Other fees may also be increased for nonresidents if allowed by law and pre-existing contractual obligations."

Finally, the bill clarifies that "nothing in this paragraph limits the amounts or types of fees the board may charge nonresidents."

The fiscal note for House Bill 93 puts the estimated increase of these fees at greater than $1.4 million. 

(-1)

Analyst Note: If the purpose of this legislation were to provide increased access to Idaho state parks for Idahoans, fee increases for nonresidents could be offset by some fee decreases for residents. Alternatively (or additionally), a reservation system prioritizing Idahoans should be explored. The restrictions in states like Washington and Oregon on group gatherings has been said to have increased visits to parks in Idaho, especially North Idaho. Perhaps a sunset clause on this uncapped increase could have been added to the legislation. In the long run, if Idaho discourages out-of-state tourists, there could be negative consequences for companies that serve out-of-state tourists.

View Comments
  • Mike McIntosh says:

    So then people who live in Idaho and work in Washington should be paid Idaho minimum wage!!!!!!!!!!!

  • James Flexer says:

    Seems that Idaho does not want their neighbors from Eastern Washington to visit and spend money? By 2022 will WA and OR still have restrictions from the fake pandemic power grab? I hope not.

  • leevi says:

    Idaho State says: They don't want your money, if you are foreign

    The family and I usually do an annual trip down from Canada to Idaho. We like to tent at Farragut State Park because it is beautiful. We usually bring my mother and sister, who stay at a near-by hotel. Through-out the week we spend hundreds of dollars at Silverwood, and thousands more in Coeur d'Alene and nearby Wallace. This year, I tried to book our usual spot at Farragut however a tenting spot was going to cost us nearly $500 (over $600 CAN). I thought this was pretty extreme given that we were staying in a tent and previous years had cost us less than half of that amount. After doing some research, I learned that recently state parks had doubled their fees; but only for out- of- state guests in a misguided attempt to get more locals, in accordance with House Bill 93. I could have reluctantly paid this amount or simply stayed somewhere else. However, Idaho State had made their stance loud and clear, foreigners are NOT WELCOME. Instead, we will spend $100 camping and but thousands more in nearby southern British Columbia. It has possibly even more stunning scenery and the locals are very welcoming towards people and of foreign money.

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