Government Spending

California Parks Scandal Concealed Raid on Trust Fund

"Hidden" $54 million was actually a self-supporting fund for off-road recreation


The first wisdom of politics is that things often are not what they seem.  This appears to be the case with the much ballyhooed report that former California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman "hid" $54 million in the off-road vehicle recreation special fund.

A scandal broke out based on reports that the state was too broke to keep open 70 state parks while the Parks Department allegedly had $54 million or more in so-called "hidden" accounts. …

The Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Division is a section of the State Parks Department that is not dependent on general funds.  It is self-sufficient and relies on a share of the gasoline taxes generated from the mileage of off-road vehicles and user fees from state off-road recreation parks.  Technically, the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund is not a "special fund," but a trust fund, just as there is a highway trust fund.