CALIFORNIA – Californians can now purchase their California State Parks Annual Pass on their state income tax return. It is a new option than makes the process quick and easy.
This new option was created through the California State Park Stewardship Act of 2012 (AB 1589), a new state law authored by former state Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael. The pass costs $195 and allows passenger vehicles of up to nine passengers into 130 California State Parks for a year after its issue date. The “Contributions” section of the 540 and 540a tax forms contain a new line to enter the price of the parks pass.In addition, there is a tax deduction option in this new program. Any additional donation over the $195 for the pass is seen as a tax-deductible contribution that will reduce the tax liability of the donor and provide needed support to the park system. The additional donation will be allocated to the State Parks Protection Fund, where it will be used to address deferred maintenance projects and otherwise enhance visitors’ park experiences.
The California State Park Stewardship Act of 2012 mandates that the Department develops a prioritized action plan for solving budget challenges, explore alternative revenue streams, limit the number of state park closures and establish the Annual Pass option on the tax forms.
The funding generated from the tax form and donation option will be used in combination with funding recently appropriated by the Governor and the Legislature to help replace the General Fund reductions to the State Parks’ budget over the past ten years and more. In addition, it is hoped this option will contribute toward the deferred maintenance backlog of more than $1.3 billion dollars that goes back twenty years and more.
For more information on the State Parks Protection Fund, visit: http://www.parks.ca.gov/annualpass.