The real positive news from Game, Fish, & Parks is that our state parks are outperforming sales tax revenues and the general economy. The agenda packet for yesterday’s GF&P Commission meeting included this summary of the Division of Parks and Recreation’s November year-to-date revenue:
Parks permit revenue is up 5% over last year; parks lodging revenue is up 4%. The total take so far is $17.1 million, up 4% over last year.
According to the Governor’s budget address last week, year-to-date sales tax collections were down 1.6% at the end of FY2017; in October, sales tax revenues were up only 2.3%.
So our general economy is dragging, which the Governor attributes in part to the sagging agricultural economy, while the state’s portion of our tourism industry is bringing in more revenue. Could that suggest that, exactly contrary to Speaker G. Mark Mickelson’s self-interested assertions, there are other paths to rural economic development than promoting industrial agriculture?