You’ll pay more to use Wisconsin state parks, beginning next year. The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee signed off Thursday, on a package of fee increases from state Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).
Governor Scott Walker’s budget eliminated more than $4.5 million in funding from state general purpose revenues. The increased fees approved Thursday – actually larger than those recommended by the governor – will need to make up for much of that.
Democrats questioned how realistic that is. “There are no park systems that are self sustaning, based on fees” anywhere in the U.S., argued Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) “It’s not sustainable.”
The package of fee increases passed on a 12-4 party line vote.
Fee increases include annual resident state park vehicle passes going from $25 to $28, and annual resident trail passes from $20 to $25. Resident state park camping fees will increase to $20 nightly for campsites with electricity.
An amendment from Democrats, to prohibit the sale of state park naming rights to corporate entities, was rejected on a 12-4 vote.
“Given that no new increase in revenue, there might be some people that think, why not have a Shopko State Park,” said Representative Gorden Hintz (D-Oshkosh).