I agree with both of you on your comments and I thank you.
Many of discussions have come regarding the free loaders.
For us the split does seem un fair and in the scope of things agree. But in numbers that are given the higher percentage of users are not us. But like discussed those that would have thought to pay the pass to go to the parks for the hikers or mountain bikes are now parking outside of the parks and not paying for the pass.
So now the question is in these tough times how do you pay to keep operations open to the public when there is no money available and they are being asked to trim the fat??
What would it take for us beside the transferability and money split to buy the pass? What would be an acceptable medium??
Here is what another member from our COG group had to say!
1.Transferability - The inability to transfer a pass from one vehicle to another is a poor design and options to offer multiple discounted passes don't address this. Transfer mechanisms for sold vehicles are cumbersome and add complexity to a system that is already overly complex for the many license offices to administer. Also, many of our members own more than one vehicle which they might use to visit a state park instead of using their tow vehicle.
2.Dual Registration denial - It should be sufficient to have either an ORV permit or a Discover Pass ... but for street legal 4X4 and dirt bikes already paying for both license plates and having dual registration with an ORV tab, the D-Pass is a required third government sticker ... and that's unreasonable. This also adds complexity in that these dual registered vehicle only need the D-Pass when they're on State land but only on roads where their plates are required. Otherwise if they're strictly off road, their ORV permit suffices. This denial creates a third tax for the user and a complicated structure for determining when it's required.
3.Complexity/USFS dissimilarity - We already have one "pass system" for off road recreational use in this state and it's been around for a long time. The fact that this new one chose to change transfer rights, volunteer policies and even ties it to a vehicle creates an unnecessary burden of understanding for our users and a similar unnecessary burden for teaching and communication for the government. Several of the reasons for this design were perhaps driven by the desire to increase revenues as well as the complexity of joining with State Parks and DFW in the system. You're adding yet more complexity as you seek to fix the problem of routine changing of license plates (because when I change license plates for any one of several routine reasons my pass is now invalid). Rather than adding the burden of this new pass to support DNR programs, another approach would be to use the existing User Fee system with ORV permits and establish the level of revenues users are willing to support. That then can must drive the expense side of the DNR's program's. What we instead have here are expenses driving the revenues ... and revenues falling short. With the complexities and overlaps of this system you're unable to determine just what YOUR DNR user group is willing to fund ... and part of the Dual Registration desire comes from users willingness to purchase ORV permits while knowing DNR gets SO MUCH of that revenue compare to the D-Pass.
So what would I offer as solutions here (in addition to the obvious message of right-sizing expenses)?:
1.Create a simpler Pass - Construct a D-pass scheme using transferability and volunteer policies mirroring the USFS Forest Pass. I assume this is possible given the legislation but that does need to be checked. Survey to find out participation rates for various pricing levels using these assumptions to drive net revenue projections. This addresses the desire for transferability ... which really isn't addressed by discounted 2nd passes. And it quantifies the voice of the users so that leadership can respond. Without this you'll be continuing to try to sell a recreational system that users can't afford.
2.Allow Dual Registered Vehicles exemption - This is another question regarding the law ... can someone who HAS a license plate AND ORV permit and is on a DNR road be exempted from the D-Pass? If so, thank you ... if not, this crystallizes a legislative change for the next session.
Written by a member of WOHVA.
Sorry for the length of the post but this is a huge topic and needs to be looked at in many ways!
I pesonnally welcome the comments
Washington State Director