NEW: Raimondo Pushing for Major Increase in Beach Fees—Some Up As Much As 33%

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


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Governor Raimondo's budget proposes major increases in beach fees

Governor Gina Raimondo's administration is proposing big increases for those attending Rhode Island's beaches and parks.

Raimondo's Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is proposing to increase beach parking fees for Rhode Islanders by $2 during the week and weekends, and by $10 for a season pass.

The increase in season passes is more than a 33 percent increase -- the increases were proposed in Raimondo's budget.

Latest for RI

The fee increase is a big flip from recent legislative action.

In 2016, the legislature proudly announced, "Just in time for beach season, the House slashed parking fees at state beaches — mostly in half — to better enable Rhode Islanders and visitors to enjoy one of the state’s greatest treasures. The cuts, effective July 1, eliminate hikes made in 2011, and apply to all types of passes: single-day weekend and weekday, as well as season, passes for residents, nonresidents and senior citizens. (Admission to state beaches themselves is free.) Those who have already purchased season passes will be eligible for a credit for the difference."

“Rhode Islanders are fortunate to have access to an outstanding array of state parks and beaches. However, these places are being loved to death, and we must do more to support and maintain them. The study that DEM commissioned makes clear that our fee structure is one of several aspects of our state parks system that is outdated, and the Governor’s parks initiative pairs fee increases with service improvements. The increase to beach parking fees that we’re proposing is small — $2 more for Rhode Islanders on weekdays and weekends, and $10 more for a season pass," said DEM Director Janet Coit on Wednesday.

She added, "Reinvesting this new revenue back into the state parks system will pay great dividends for our parks and beaches, which add $315 million to the economy, generate nearly $40 million in state and local taxes, and support nearly 4,000 jobs a year. Of course, they also are beloved places that delight families, attract visitors, and create fond memories for a lifetime."

The DEM presented their proposal during a listening session at Westerly Town Hall on Wednesday.

See the Full Proposal in the Slideshow Below

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RI DEM proposes to increase beach parking fees.

Proposed Beach Parking Fees

For Rhode Island residents, the DEM is proposing a $2 increase in beach parking fees, bringing the cost to $8 during the week and $9 on the weekend.

For non-residents, the RI DEM is proposing a $4 increase for parking, bringing the total to $16 during the week and $18 on the weekend.

For those interested in purchasing a season pass, the RI DEM proposes a $10 increase for residents, bringing the cost of a pass to $40.

They propose a $20 increase for non-residents, bringing the cost of a season pass to $80.

Proposed Camping Fees

The Rhode Island DEM is also proposing to increase camping fees.

Depending on the offering (three different tiers), camping fees could increase by as much as $16 in 2019, or as little as $4 for residents.

For non-residents, camping fees could increase by as much as $40 in 2019, depending on the offering.

Raimondo Administration Proposed Beach Parking + Camping Fees - BELOW

Correction: an earlier version said season pass increase was 16% -- it is 33%.


Related Slideshow: Raimondo Administration Proposed Beach Parking + Camping Fees - February 2019


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