The 2009-2010 california state budget revision proposes the elminiation of the $149 million California State Parks receives from the state’s tax-based general funds. This would necessitate closure of over 200 of California’s State Parks, including Railtown.
State Parks is a critical piece of California’s travel and tourism industry generating more than 75 million visitor days every year
Based on a 2002 study, visitors generate more than $6.5 billion dollars in total output and new sales for private businesses in communities around State parks yearly as a result of visitor spending. The tax revenue from that spending generates $2.35 in General Fund revenue for the State for every dollar of General Fund received by State Parks to operate the system.
Here in Tuolumne County, it is estimated that the closure of Railtown would result in a direct ecconomic impact of $15 million. The savings to the general fund is projected to be approximately $300,000 annually, which does not take into account expenses related to a park shutdown, or re-opening.
These are difficult times in California, and many significant programs are facing serious budget cuts. It is important to remember that at this point, this is just a budget proposal, and Railtown is still open!
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