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Federal lands Senior pass going from $10 to $80+

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The House and Senate just voted to increase the fee for the lifetime Senior Pass to mirror the annual federal lands pass. The Senior lifetime pass is currently $10, but as soon as Obama signs the bill it will increase immediately to $80, and then the federal agencies will get to increase it as they see fit every year.

"

(Sec. 102) The Department of the Interior (for a federal land management agency) and the Department of Agriculture (for the Forest Service) shall make the National Parks and Federal Lands Pass available to any U.S. citizen or person residing in the United States who is 62 years of age or older for:

  • a period of 12 months from the date of issuance at a cost of $20; and
  • the lifetime of the passholder at a cost (currently $10) equal to the cost of the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass."


https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4680?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr4680%22%5D%7D&r=1

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And a 7 day pass to the Tetons and Yellowstone will cost me $50. If I take a 2 week trip up there it will cost me $100. It seems to me that a lifetime pass for $80 is a deal. It has been $10 for 25 years (set in 1993). Don't you think it is time for an increase? They have to pay for the upkeep and maintenance somehow.

Of course if you think that $80 is too much you could find something better that is cheaper, right?

Edited by Big5er

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And a 7 day pass to the Tetons and Yellowstone will cost me $50. If I take a 2 week trip up there it will cost me $100.

 

Of course, if one takes a 2 week trip up there they could just buy an annual pass for $80 and get into all national parks at no additional cost for the next 12 months.

 

Don

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This :

"the average person is still making the same amount of money when accounting for inflation, prices for many of the daily necessities have gone up considerably, which means that each dollar earned does, in fact, buy less than it did 20 years ago."

 

From : http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/101314/what-does-current-cost-living-compare-20-years-ago.asp

 

So , the 70 dollar increase has to come from a pocket that has less ... Wonderful .

 

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And a 7 day pass to the Tetons and Yellowstone will cost me $50. If I take a 2 week trip up there it will cost me $100. It seems to me that a lifetime pass for $80 is a deal. It has been $10 for 25 years (set in 1993). Don't you think it is time for an increase? They have to pay for the upkeep and maintenance somehow.

Of course if you think that $80 is too much you could find something better that is cheaper, right?

Well stated!

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So , the 70 dollar increase has to come from a pocket that has less ... Wonderful .

 

Well not exactly. Your whole argument is based on inflation. The cost of the senior pass hasn't increased in 25 years. If you could afford the $10 pass 25 years ago, then you should still be able to afford a pass that has 25 years of inflation attached to it with only a slight increase using your inflated dollar. So the only equation that is applicable is what is 25 years of inflation on a $10 senior pass? Edited by Big5er

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Well..........If you have visit a National Park in this country. you soon find out that most of the people in the park......are not from the good old USA. So the park pass increase will in pack very few citizens. The Increase will not prevent us from enjoying our National Parks. We may have to take up a foreign language. I have noticed that several states have increased there out of state park usage fees, in the last few years. The increase, just makes for more tax money...... So we can be taken care of by Uncle Sam..... (I'll stop now) OU812

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Well not exactly. Your whole argument is based on inflation. The cost of the senior pass hasn't increased in 25 years. If you could afford the $10 pass 25 years ago, then you should still be able to afford a pass that has 25 years of inflation attached to it with only a slight increase using your inflated dollar. So the only equation that is applicable is what is 25 years of inflation on a $10 senior pass?

 

According to this CPI based calculator, A $10 item bought in 1990 would cost $18.47 today...

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This has absolutely nothing to do with inflation, and I think a few of you have totally missed the point.

As taxpayers we already own the all the federal land under federal management. After working hard all your life and paying your taxes, upon retirement the government rewards you by charging you to enter the lands that you, the taxpayer, already own.

And most people using the Senior Pass are using it to receive half off the campground fee at USFS campgrounds. Campgrounds that used to be free when we were younger.

National Parks is just an afterthought.

But hey, if you think the feds need more of your money, by all means feel free to make a donation to their coffers, but don't come out and say all retirees need to pony up on the lands they already own.

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This has absolutely nothing to do with inflation, and I think a few of you have totally missed the point.

 

As taxpayers we already own the all the federal land under federal management. After working hard all your life and paying your taxes, upon retirement the government rewards you by charging you to enter the lands that you, the taxpayer, already own.

 

And most people using the Senior Pass are using it to receive half off the campground fee at USFS campgrounds. Campgrounds that used to be free when we were younger.

 

National Parks is just an afterthought.

 

But hey, if you think the feds need more of your money, by all means feel free to make a donation to their coffers, but don't come out and say all retirees need to pony up on the lands they already own.

 

I don't see how ownership has anything to do with it. I always owned my own home, but I've paid a lot of money over the years for the privilege of using it.

 

I've never had to pay a fee for using federal lands, still don't. However, there are fees to use the areas which have infrastructure and upkeep to pay for. I can only imagine how unusable these areas would be without regular maintenance. Somebody has to pay for maintaining the national parks and recreation areas. I'm not opposed to having a user fee. To me, $80 for a lifetime of access is a bargain. JMO

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Considering how much it costs in fuel to get to the National Parks, and the cost of fuel to drive around in the park, also the cost of my RV has to be considered: If I can afford to get to the parks a $70 increase in the life time pass should not be a problem!

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Well not exactly. Your whole argument is based on inflation. The cost of the senior pass hasn't increased in 25 years. If you could afford the $10 pass 25 years ago, then you should still be able to afford a pass that has 25 years of inflation attached to it with only a slight increase using your inflated dollar. So the only equation that is applicable is what is 25 years of inflation on a $10 senior pass?

 

I probably wouldn't be saying anything if the pass increase was only that of inflation . Dutch has it at $18.47 . Worth it or not , 80 dollars is a long stretch from 18.47 .

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I don't see how ownership has anything to do with it. I always owned my own home, but I've paid a lot of money over the years for the privilege of using it.

 

I've never had to pay a fee for using federal lands, still don't. However, there are fees to use the areas which have infrastructure and upkeep to pay for. I can only imagine how unusable these areas would be without regular maintenance. Somebody has to pay for maintaining the national parks and recreation areas. I'm not opposed to having a user fee. To me, $80 for a lifetime of access is a bargain. JMO

This is exactly how we feel.

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This has absolutely nothing to do with inflation, and I think a few of you have totally missed the point.

 

As taxpayers we already own the all the federal land under federal management. After working hard all your life and paying your taxes, upon retirement the government rewards you by charging you to enter the lands that you, the taxpayer, already own.

 

And most people using the Senior Pass are using it to receive half off the campground fee at USFS campgrounds. Campgrounds that used to be free when we were younger.

 

National Parks is just an afterthought.

 

But hey, if you think the feds need more of your money, by all means feel free to make a donation to their coffers, but don't come out and say all retirees need to pony up on the lands they already own.

 

So you dont believe that National Parks should charge anyone anything to use the Parks?

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So you dont believe that National Parks should charge anyone anything to use the Parks?

 

There are enough people that do that they have their own organization dedicated to tracking and opposing the public lands fee programs. They were the source that led Guy Gipson (publisher of the Escapees' Day's End Directory) to notify members regarding this legislation.

Edited by trailertraveler

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This has absolutely nothing to do with inflation, and I think a few of you have totally missed the point.

 

As taxpayers we already own the all the federal land under federal management. After working hard all your life and paying your taxes, upon retirement the government rewards you by charging you to enter the lands that you, the taxpayer, already own.

 

And most people using the Senior Pass are using it to receive half off the campground fee at USFS campgrounds. Campgrounds that used to be free when we were younger.

 

National Parks is just an afterthought.

 

But hey, if you think the feds need more of your money, by all means feel free to make a donation to their coffers, but don't come out and say all retirees need to pony up on the lands they already own.

Well I noticed a spot in the ceiling at the bookstore in the Grand Tetons NP where it looks like the roof is leaking. Since you say WE already own it, then which one of US is responsible for the roof of that building? I'd like to ask when they plan to fix it.

We both know that tax money alone isn't enough so exactly how do you propose to fix that roof? And what about the guy being paid to fix that roof? After all he pays taxes too so he basically is being paid, with tax money, to fix his own roof, since he owns the building. Where do I get in on that deal?

 

Of course the solution is very simple. If you think $80 is too much to pay, then don't pay it. I don't own a Ferrari, because I think $200,000 is too much to pay just for a car. That is the beautiful thing about this country, no one can force me to buy a Ferrari, and no one is forcing you to go to a National Park. Try Disney instead. I hear that a full hook-up site at Fort Wilderness runs about $100 a NIGHT. Lets see, you could stay there for around $3000 for a month. Now you could go during the hot summer months, the rate drops to about $70 a night so that's only $2100 for the month. A much better deal, if you don't mind the heat.

Or you could go to the Everglades NP in Florida for $80 for the LIFEtime pass and the $15 a night campground fee (that's half price for senior pass holders). That comes to $450 for the month...and that one time $80 fee. Hmmm.....

 

 

I probably wouldn't be saying anything if the pass increase was only that of inflation . Dutch has it at $18.47 . Worth it or not , 80 dollars is a long stretch from 18.47 .

Hey, I like that calculator. It says I should I should be able to sell my house for a whole lot more than that realtor says. Of course it also says that gasoline should be cheaper than it is too.

 

If paying an extra $70 for a LIFETIME pass means that the NP's will still be there for my grandkids I'm all for it. The pass was steal at $10 for a lifetime pass. Like I said in my first post, if you think you can find a better deal than $80 for your lifetime go there instead. Cut out one steak dinner for you and the wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend and it's paid for, for LIFE.

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I decided to look into the potential impact of this proposal on the financial state of the National Park System. The deferred maintenance backlog as of 2015 was $11.927 Billion dollars. Using census birth records for 1955 (about 4 million) and Social Security estimates of those reaching 62 years of age through 2030 (estimated at 10,000/day or 3.65 million/year); if 4 million people a year bought a Senior Lifetime Pass that would be $320 million in revenue per year for the Park Service. At that rate, it would take 37+ years to fund the 2015 deferred maintenance backlog, longer if everyone turning 62 does not buy a pass.

 

It appears that the final legislation did not contain the additional up to 5% fee on lodging in the parks which most likely would have far exceeded the increased revenue from the Senior Pass fee increase.

 

In my opinion, this is nothing more than feel good legislation for the Park Service centennial.

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Big5er - my sentiments exactly! I really can't believe that $80/lifetime is looked upon as being so horrendous that no one can afford it. We've used our pass for a lot of things - like taking family to Mt. St. Helens, Mr. Rainer, etc. Heck, at $80/yr it is a good bargain even if you only use it once a vacation. To be able to use it year after year after year, it is unbelievable. Just one week at a COE park would pay for the one-time fee, then it is all savings the rest of your life.

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...I really can't believe that $80/lifetime is looked upon as being so horrendous that no one can afford it...

An opinion not shared by some on this forum.

Maybe not for *most,* but for a lot of people it would be a hardship, particularly if it's going to be *each year* instead of a one-time fee. I'm just glad we have ours! (Of course, Congress could also include a passage that current Senior Passes won't be good anymore.)

Edited by TCW

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Even at $80/yr, I would consider the pass to be worthwhile - it would pay for itself in a week or two at any COE park! But where did someone get the idea it would be a yearly fee for seniors?

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There is a provision in the new fee schedule for an annual senior pass at $20/yr. But if you buy one four years in a row, you qualify for the lifetime pass at no additional charge.

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There is a provision in the new fee schedule for an annual senior pass at $20/yr. But if you buy one four years in a row, you qualify for the lifetime pass at no additional charge.

Hey that makes sense too. How long can that last.

 

I get that for most of us $80. is no big deal but for some it may be all at once. Remember that not all users are going to be for camping. Some places it is just a daily fee or an annual or lifetime pass. For me, I would just as soon lay out the whole $80. from the first. Some people live near parks they can use and some may have to tavel hundreds of miles to use their Federal recreation site so it might not seem as good a deal to them.

 

One thing that troubles me is I know that the folks we elect will use this as an offset to put tax money somewhere else. You can only cut personnel and funding so much and expect to keep facilities anywhere near kept up.

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At my local airport our tie-downs went from $70 to $130 / mo. They had a meeting where people could voice their comments. My partner went to tell me about all the people bitching about it. $6/gallon fuel, $1200 annual inspections, $150 oil change / 50 hrs. no problem. An extra 60/mo. for all those TSA fences and locks... wah, wah, wah!

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