Off-highway vehicle leadership from the AMA District 36, District 37, American Sand Association, the California Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs, California-Nevada Snowmobile Association, and the Off-Road Business Association met with Aaron Read and Associates this week to discuss continued reallocation of California’s OHMVR trust fund monies in the form of loans and, most recently, rationalization of a permanent 10 million dollar loss of gasoline tax investments into the fund. The goal of the meeting was education about potential solutions for permanent protection of the OHMVR Trust, and what options OHV leadership should consider to best fill a potential shortfall in the more than 85 million dollar annual operating budget required to maintain the state’s OHMVR program.
The State of California, like most states, is facing tough choices in establishing a balanced budget. Faced with significant loss of services, Governor Jerry Brown has tasked legislatures with spreading cuts to all areas. OHV leadership expressed fear of drastic reduction in the OHMVR program, and the continued loss of reserves earmarked for acquisitions and large capitol improvements of State Vehicle Recreation Areas (SVRA) to Aaron Read and Associates in an effort to establish a long-term action plan for continuation of a solvent program.
The 2011/2012 California State Budget will remove 31 million dollars from the OHMVR Trust Fund by means of a 21 million dollar loan from the OHMVR trusts reserves, and the redistribution of 10 million dollars of California gasoline tax before it enters the State Parks budget. The OHMVR’s budget is made up primarily from the investment of approximately 65 million dollars in California gasoline tax, with approximately 17 million in “Green Sticker” registration and 3 million in SVRA fees making up the rest of the annual budget respectively. Reserves are normally used for capital improvements to SVRA or potential acquisitions of new SVRA opportunities.
Since the creation of the Chappie Z’berg Act in 1971, the program’s self-funded budget has been under continued attack in the form of redistribution of funds by way of loans, most of which have never been remunerated back to the program. With a history of loss, OHV leadership hopes to explore ways in which the program can assure continued success in providing self-funded high quality OHV recreation, law enforcement support, education of safe and responsible OHV operation, grants to federal OHV projects, conservation, restoration, and acquisition of new properties.
While the October 2007 SB742 law reformed the OHMVR program, OHV leadership, understanding changes to State budget concerns, now feels that additional steps may be necessary to ensure the protection of a very successful OHMVR program for our future generations of Californians.
About the American Motorcyclist Association District 36 and District 37
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal government through its district associations, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through District associations such as D36 and D37, member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. For more information, please visit ama-d36.com or district37ama.org