Despite being the eighth largest in the world, California is fairly upside-down when it comes to the state’s balance sheet. Looking for places to make up the difference, California has had to make some hard choices with its budgets and cash reserves.
One such choice of course has an effect on our dirt-loving two-wheeled brethren. With roughly $60 million in the Off-Highway Vehicles Trust Fund sitting on the books, the California State Assembly Budget Sub-Committee could not help but vote for a transfer of $31 million from the OHV fund to use for in non-OHV programs. Yay.
With OHV fees being collected under the auspices that the money collected would go back into off-highway programs, the largest issue at stake in California is the unintended usage of ear-marked funds. For motorcyclists, the reality is that the loss of funds will affect riding areas like Mendocino and Six Rivers National Forests, the BLM Cow Mountain Recreation near Ukiah, and the BLM Samoa Dunes Recreation Area near Eureka.
What will be interesting to see is whether the move by California’s legislature will set a precedent that sees the OHV fund becoming a regular piggybank to be raided, or if this piggy will only be cracked open once (we’ll give you two guesses on that, but you need only one). What is also worrying is the massive amount being taken out of the fund, and how greatly that will impact the intended uses of the OHV fund.