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Old 04-15-2015, 07:41 PM   #1
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Alabama State Parks Closing

It was sad to learn tonight Alabama may close 15 of its 22 state parks permanently due to the state budget crisis. The seven parks slated to remain after the cuts are: Meaher, Wind Creek, Chewacla, Monte Sano, Cathedral Caverns, Oak Mountain and Gulf State Park. Hopefully the people of the state will rally to persuade the governor and legislature to fund the parks.

Alabama State Parks Closing Article
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:15 PM   #2
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Just do what the federal government is doing at its parks. Contract the operations to outside companies if that is what it takes it takes to keep them open.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:44 PM   #3
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Funding State Parks

A state close to Alabama, Arkansas, has a beautiful state park system. In 1996 voters approved a 1/8 cent increase in the state sales tax of which 45% is directed to the state park system. Almost 20 years of spending the revenue generated by this small tax has allowed the park system to dramatically upgrade facilities and infrastructure as well as add more land and at least one new park. We have camped at several Arkansas parks (Village Creek, Lake Fort Smith, Queen Wihelmena, and Lake Catherine) and can see what vision, foresight, and funding over time can do to create a true treasure for the citizens of a state. State parks are one taxpayer investment that all citizens can enjoy, rich or poor.

The attached article discusses different approaches to funding a viable state park system and attests to the fact only a small revenue stream is needed if it is dedicated to the parks.

Dedicated Funding of State Parks
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:52 PM   #4
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Our state, county and city sales tax is already 10%. Plus, they tax food at the same rate. No way would anyone agree to any more sales taxes here. Plus the Governor ran on a "no more taxes" pledge.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:38 PM   #5
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The same governor has proposed a $500 million tax hike. Part of what is going on is he and the few legislatures supporting him (interesting part of this is that the republican governor is trying to rely on democratic legislators to get his bills passed when the democrats are a distinct minority in legislature) are trying to create dooms day scenarios to crest support for tax increase. There is no dispute there is a huge budget shortfall and money will have to come from somewhere but I suspect ultimately revenue generating measures are passed without substantial cuts to state agencies. My prediction is a cigarette tax increase less than governor proposed, new car impact fee like florida has in lieu of governors proposal for increased sales tax on car sales and a few other small things. Doubt it will happen in regular session. The governor has said he will keep calling as many special sessions as necessary.
On ironic thing is that while this is all going on, the state is about to build huge new luxury hotel and conference center at gulf state park. But BP restore act guns are being used for it.
Understand that I'm offering no opinion on the political situation just reporting what I have read or heard.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:10 AM   #6
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Politics here are tedious. As soon as our house sells, we are out of here permanently.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:25 AM   #7
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NC State Parks Budget Cuts

Here in NC the state parks system celebrated its 100th anniversary in March. State park attendance is rising, up over 10% in 2014, yet the governor is proposing to slash spending for the 40 park system by 24% ($7.1 million). This is on top of cuts of $10.5 million in recent years as well as the gutting of the state revenue contribution for the trust fund for the parks.

On the flip side the top state income tax rate was cut from 7.75% to 5.75% over the past three years. The state has also increasing spending on education, Medicaid, and subsidies to new businesses moving into the state.

Ultimately the governor and the legislature determine priorities for public spending. It seems that in the current era, state parks are low on the priority list.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida 55 View Post
It was sad to learn tonight Alabama may close 15 of its 22 state parks permanently due to the state budget crisis. The seven parks slated to remain after the cuts are: Meaher, Wind Creek, Chewacla, Monte Sano, Cathedral Caverns, Oak Mountain and Gulf State Park.
Well, it looks like I'll have to remove Monte Sano State Park from my "to do" list" without visiting it. With so few Alabama State Parks left, those seven are going to be impossible to get reservations for because they'll have to pick up the slack from all of the parks that are closing. I foresee more trips to Arkansas in my future. Same driving distance, better selection.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:48 AM   #9
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Nothing has been set in stone, this is all just political posturing.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:53 AM   #10
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Food is taxed at 10% in Alabama?

Is that at the grocery store, in restaurants, or both?

I have not been impressed with the privatization of federal sites, and don't know that going to "concessionaires" anywhere is the answer. I'm sure pluses can be noted but have yet to see where these moves have improved the quality of campgrounds.

Sounds like a prioritization and allocation of resources issue to me, also perhaps reflective of the general drive to decrease union protected employment.

We came across a couple of "concessionaire" federal sites out west a few years ago that charged $2 per day per pet, and a dump fee for everyone, staying in the campground or not. What???

It would be sad to see so many state parks in Alabama close.

What a waste.


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Old 04-16-2015, 06:54 AM   #11
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I think this is politics and won't happen. Tennessee went through this a while back and they got over it. Monte Sano is not on the list because they charge a lot for daily visitors to come in. They also get a lot of local volunteers to do most of the trail maintenance. I expect they will not be full during the week.

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Old 04-16-2015, 06:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Food is taxed at 10% in Alabama?

Is that at the grocery store, in restaurants, or both?

I have not been impressed with the privatization of federal sites, and don't know that going to "concessionaires" anywhere is the answer. I'm sure pluses can be noted but have yet to see where these moves have improved the quality of campgrounds.

Sounds like a prioritization and allocation of resources issue to me, also perhaps reflective of the general drive to decrease union protected employment.

We came across a couple of "concessionaire" federal sites out west a few years ago that charged $2 per day per pet, and a dump fee for everyone, staying in the campground or not. What???

It would be sad to see so many state parks in Alabama close.

What a waste.


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Yep, stores and restaurants both.
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:03 AM   #13
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How hard must that be on low-income folks.

That is a bit shocking to me......and I live in Illinois.


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Old 04-16-2015, 07:07 AM   #14
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Its a shame that politicians run government. Corruption and the lack of stewardship seems to be the norm throughout he world, not just Alabama but throughout the US.
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