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