View Single Post
Old 06-22-2011, 01:57 PM
dirk's Avatar
dirk dirk is offline
that WOHVA guy
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: washington
Posts: 734
Default Discover Pass + Fees = $35

It appears the $30 Discover Pass will actually cost us $35...the extra fees were mentioned on the news last night. It sounds like Sen. Swecker won't be paying the extra $5 :haha:
'Discover Pass' for Wash. parks not really $30 with fees .
Posted on June 21, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Updated today at 10:04 AM

OLYMPIA -- To some lawmakers' suprise, there's no way to buy the state's new $30 "Discover Pass" for $30.

Transaction and dealer fees add 16 percent to the cost of the annual pass.

"Well, it's not acceptable to me and I tell you what, I'm going camping next week and I need this permit and I'm not paying $35 for it. So if they haven't figured out the problem, they're going to have to figure it out by the time I get out there," said Sen. Dan Swecker (R-Rochester).

To raise money, the state legislature created the new "Discover Pass." Starting July 1, if you drive into a state park, your vehicle must have the new pass or you could face a $99 penalty. The pass gives you statewide access to parks and natural areas, or you can buy a day permit for $10.

If you purchase the pass at a local sporting goods store, you might expect to pay an extra fee. But you'll also pay more on the state website--a $3 transaction fee is built in, and when you check out, an additional $2 dealer fee is tacked on. The total bill is $35.

"It is one of the realities of doing business in modern times, lots of people who handle ticketing and passes and that kind of thing have additional fees attached," said Virginia Painter, spokesperson for Washington State Parks.

Some state lawmakers are pretty surprised. The legislation they approved spelled out "thirty dollars" for the annual pass, and "ten dollars" for the single-day pass (which in reality is $11.50 with additional fees). State Sen. Kevin Ranker, who sponsored the legislation, says it was his understanding that any transaction costs would be built into the $30, not passed along to parks users.

"We promised $30," Ranker said.

Washington State Parks says this is the same system used for years to sell fishing and hunting licenses, and they have always charged extra transaction and dealer fees. The state says it's the same as buying concert tickets -- you don't pay face value.

"The reason is, the vendor who's handling the sales, this is a private business, that we contract with through fish and wildlife, and they have to make their money, it costs them to produce this thing," Painter said.

The state says there will be a way to avoid extra fees starting this fall, if you buy the Discover Pass when renewing your car tabs. But for now, if you want to comply with the law this summer, you have no choice but to pay the extra $5.
Bryan Peterson | WOHVA | PNWJeep | Eldorado Dust Devils
Reply With Quote