OHV TRUST FUND LOANS – A LETTER TO GOVERNOR BROWN

Dear Governor Brown;

You have announced plans to use the state budget surplus to fund a variety of favored projects, but in doing so you are ignoring legal obligations to pay back unpaid loans taken from special funds “as soon as there are sufficient moneys in the General fund to return them”. (Government Code section 16310).

OHV enthusiasts in California pay special fees and taxes that are not assessed against other California residents to finance State Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Areas. Registration fees, entrance fees and fuel tax for gasoline used by off road vehicles funds the OHV Trust Fund (a special fund).

In the past politicians in Sacramento borrowed about $200 million from the OHV trust fund and have never repaid those, so called, “loans”. I want to remind you that the state is legally required to pay back loans made to the general fund when there is a surplus in the state budget. This requirement cannot be ignored especially when the accumulated unpaid loans prevents the special fund from accomplishing its mission.

The Division of OHV Recreation uses OHV trust fund money for grants and cooperative agreements, to support law enforcement, operations and management, education and safety, environmental protection, and repair and restoration. The transfers are interfering with Core Program objectives preventing the OHV Program from achieving its goals.

Never-the-less, regardless of whether or not you believe the accumulation of past loans interferes with the mission of the Division of Off-Highway Vehicles; you are still obliged to appropriate surplus monies to pay back loans taken from the OHV Trust Fund.

The OHV Trust Fund is made up of money assessed against a large segment of California residents who enjoy a popular form of recreation. It is good, clean, family oriented fun. I want to remind you that we are voters and we won’t let politicians who ignore our interests remain in office. You cannot disregard the law just because you want to spend our money on other projects.

Sincerely,

Committed OHV Enthusiast

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