Riders Unite is a New Voice for Promoting OHV Interests
In a partnership between businesses, advocacy groups and riders, Riders Unite has come to the front lines in promoting OHV interests across the board.
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California Legislature Votes to Raid OHV Trust Fund

California’s Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund is in danger of losing up to $31 million. California’s Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation voted to raid the fund and transfer it to non-OHV related programs.

According to the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the OHV funds are slated to go to the Sustainable Parks Proposal, which is being championed by the California Parks Foundation, California State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and other “anti-OHV organizations.”

Don Amador, Western Representative of the Blue Ribbon Coalition, tells ATV.com the OHV Program was enacted into law in the early 1970s as a way to pay for OHV management on local, state, and federal lands. Before the law was enacted, riders got a state tax refund based on fuel use off-pavement. The law took that tax refund and created the OHV Trust Fund as a way to support sustainable OHV recreation into the future. About 10 percent of the OHV Trust Fund comes from OHV registration (e.g. green sticker/red sticker) and the rest comes from an off-road fuel taxes (paid while users recreate off-pavement) calculated formula based on user visitor days on public lands.

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Off-Road Riders Facing Two Fights

ATV and UTV enthusiasts are no doubt used to fighting for their right to ride and now they face two significant salvos – a potential end of the dedicated funding for recreational trails and a proposal that could block riding on public land in nine states.

We’ll look at the trail funding first. According to the American Motorcyclist Association, the U.S. Senate will vote on a bill that would end the dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which is considered to be one of the most important and beneficial laws for off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders ever passed by Congress.

The RTP, which provides money to states to develop and maintain trails, would lose dedicated funding under provisions in a transportation funding authorization bill — S. 1813, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) — which was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee by an 18-0 vote on Nov. 9. It’s unknown when the full Senate will vote on the measure.

Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations, was shocked by the committee vote and noted that abolishing the RTP dedicated funding would effectively create a tax increase on OHV riders because the RTP funds would no longer be designated for a program that benefits motorized trail users.

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