▶️ State Park ‘tourist tax’ adds 25% to out-of-state RV campers

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Tourists from outside the state will pay a little more next year to camp in their RVs in Oregon State Parks.

Earlier this year, the Oregon Legislature approved a 25% surcharge on campsites with water and electrical connections occupied by visitors.

And now the state park system is deciding how to implement the increase.

Currently, RV campsites in Oregon State Parks with electric, water and sewer connections cost between $24 and $40 per night.

Next year, out of state RV campers will pay between $30 and $50 per night for the same camp sites.

“Oregonians who register RVs in the state, part of their money already comes to the state park system, and then they pay again when they visit a site. People from out of state are simply paying for the site,” said Chris Havel, an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson. 

The increased camping fee charged to out-of-state RV campers state is expected to generate about $2 million each budget cycle.

Officials say that little bit of additional revenue will go a long way to repairing aging park infrastructure.

“There might be a tiny dip in out-of-state RV camping demand, but I don’t expect it to be dramatic due to all the pressure for outdoor adventure,” Havel said.

But the rate increase might make some travelers think twice, such as Andrew Jerome from Washington DC, who was camping in his trailer at Tumalo State Park.

“Any increased impacts on travel budgets is a tough hit for people who have such thin margins,” Jerome said.

Here in Central Oregon, there are about 400 state park campsites with water and electrical hookup for RVs that will cost out of state campers 25% more next year.

Havel said the out of state RV camping fee increase saves Oregonians from across-the-board camping fee increases.

The state parks will solicit public comment this fall on the visitor RV camping fee increase.

The surcharge likely will take effect early next year.

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