Konopnicki Rescues Another State Bureaucracy

By raising your automobile license fees by $9 per vehicle per year… from the Payson Round-Up:

… state Rep. Bill Konopnicki and others have introduced a bill that would add $9 to the vehicle license fees to fund state parks.  The surcharge on license fees would also give state drivers free entrance to the state park system, prevent the Legislature from diverting entrance fees and provide enough money to keep the state parks system operating.

Konopnicki’s vehicle license fee charge could provide a long-term solution to the problems of the whole system, if it makes it through the Legislature.  “The parks system is currently operating on about $21 million,” said Konopnicki, “but they really need about $30 million. This should generate better than that.”  Konopnicki said it would be foolish to shut down the state parks system for lack of operating funds, considering the economic benefits the system yields —

So were local public and private solutions entertained by the State Parks Administration?  What do you think?  Payson offered to take over operation of the local state park and were shut down when the counter offer from Parks included an up front charge of over $1,000,000.

Imagine the economic boost locally if a state park was partially privatized and partially operated locally?  Guess they’ll never find out.

Bottom Line?  The state agency wasn’t interested in finding solutions and used the “scare and squeeze” tradition preached by Representative Konopnicki as a ploy to increase fee revenues to continue spending.

Scare and Squeeze … just what the Phoenix Police Union is doing to get the 2% tax on your food, and Mr. Konopnicki is the King of Welfare for failing local governments and state agencies.


  1. nightcrawler says


    I for one am happy to pay nine bucks more on my license tags in order to gain umlimited access to state parks. I think this is a great idea.

  2. Stephen Kohut says

    I for one am going to try and bury every RINO that voted for this and the 1% sales tax ballot measure. If I wanted liberal Democrats in office I would have supported them. Only idiots and liberals raise taxes and fees into a recession.

  3. nightcrawler says

    So Mr. Dogma,

    What exactly would you do to keep the State Parks open ? Sure is easy to bellyache 24/7.

  4. to Nightcrawler says

    The same argument as has been used against matching funds for Clean Elections may be used against Konopnicki’s idea…

    I am being forced to pay for state parks that I do not use. Since I maintain a modest fleet of commercial vehicles, that means none of my trucks use the parks but I’ll pay a considerable amount to allow you to visit them.

    That my friend is Wealth-Redistribution and by definition is a Socialist solution making Konopnicki a Socialist Democrat.

    Is it Constitutional to force those who don’t use the parks to pay for those who do?

  5. nightcrawler says

    So let’s exempt commercial vehicles, that makes sense. Whether you step inside a State Park or not, we all benefit. Tourism, clean air, game and forest management. If nature had its way (and it still might), most of the Northern Arizona forest would have burned over the last decade. Sure it would grow back, but not in our lifetime.

  6. to Nightcrawler says

    You have obviously not been party to a wildfire in Arizona –

    9 state parks account for 80% of the revenues of the whole system. Bet you didn’t know that.

    Making me pay for *your* ‘…clean air, game and forest management’ is Wealth Redistribution and Socialism. Yet another “ISM”

  7. The parks should support themselves thru fees collected on site and used on site. That way they’d be more fiscally responsible, more creative and more attuned to the visitors.
    Maybe then too we’d get less gratuitous PC on the tours and more real info.

    Anyone see the joke that Rocky Mountain National Park has become? No logging, so the forest looks like a giant pick-up stick pile = fire hazard. We drove all day for one deer on the side of the road, had to look thru telescopes to see a wee herd of elk, and pompous middle aged park ranger women armed with walki-talkies strode out like school crossing guards to halt 25 mph traffic to facilitate the mountain sheep in their road crossing.

    Went back down to town, disgusted at all that park and nothing to see, to discover five elk dumpster diving at our hotel. We parked the car right next to them, sat on the balcony and idly watched them for an hour while snacking on our chips and drinks. In the morning, the elk were installed at the Taco Bell, chewing on Taco Bell’s carefully landscaped saplings. The elk somehow managed all that without a lick of help from the self-impressed ranger babysitters installed a few miles away. The reason the elk were in town was because the Park EXPERT forest management is so no-touchy that nothing edible can grow inside that choked mess, so they wander off for more open spaces with tasty leaves- Taco Bell.

  8. Stephen Kohut says


    I’m not one for dogma that does have substance or is impractical. In the current fiscal crisis logical choices have to be made to bring spending down to revenue levels. We have 2005 revenue. We can afford 2005 spending. In 2005 parks were open, rest stops were open, etc. We have bureaucrats and politicians that are about as subtle as a 2×4 across the face and think they can pull one over on the public. They do not want to make cuts, messes with all the piggies at the money trough they control you know, so they do things that are very visible and annoying but essentially meaningless as far as spending cuts are concerned. State parks, rest stops, etc.

    I won’t play their game. If they want to close the parks and rest areas, fine with me. Those games combined with a 1% state sales tax ballot referal, refusal to cut spending as needed, pending default on the $1.2B short term B of A loan due 6/30/10 are simply setting up the RINO’s and Dimocrats for failure in the 2010 elections. If they want to commit political suicide I’m more than happy to let them and use the crisis they create to get conservatives into office.

  9. Conservationist Conservative says

    Excellent observation Wanumba.

    In Europe the Socialist nations of Germany and Sweden groom their old growth forests and engage in logging for domestic timber. Over here we’ve turned ‘environmentalISM’ into a religion with the consequences that our forests are being choked and dying.

  10. Veritas Vincit says

    Hey… Wanumba? How about paying my $9 too?

    Since I very seldom use the parks, you can cover my share of the fee increase too.

    Thanks buddy! Belly up friends! Fees are on Wanumba!

  11. …………………
    Veritas Vincit Says:
    February 9th, 2010 at 3:25 pm
    Hey… Wanumba? How about paying my $9 too?

    Since I very seldom use the parks, you can cover my share of the fee increase too.

    Thanks buddy! Belly up friends! Fees are on Wanumba!
    My preference is pay at the gate. You don’t go, you don’t pay. Just like the movie theatres…concerts, amusement parks… Radical concept, I know, but it grows on people after a while.

  12. Veritas Vincit says

    Sorry wanumba, guess it was nightcrawler over there standing behind you who volunteered the round back in posting #1.

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