Senate bill may waive visitor fees from Florida state parks

Rainbow Springs State Park - Photo via Flickr
Photo via Flickr
Rainbow Springs State Park

A new bill aims to waive day-use entrance fees for most Florida state parks for an entire year beginning July 1, 2016.

The bill, filed by Sen. Charles Dean Sr., R-Inverness, of District 5, is intended to "encourage the use and enjoyment of Florida's state parks," according to its text. The entrance-fee holiday does not extend to annual passes, equipment rentals or any other services offered by the parks.

Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Weeki Wachee Springs State Park are specifically excluded from the fee holiday.

State parks currently charge anywhere from $1 to $10 in daily fees, according to the Florida State Parks website

Entrance fees grossed the state parks system nearly $21 million in the 2013-2014 fiscal year, reported The Daytona Beach News-Journal. This covers around a quarter of the state parks systems' annual operating budget of $81 million.

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