Tax-Supported Recreation

An article today on the Boulder Daily Camera website describes a plan by the City of Boulder Parks and Recreation Department to operate more-or-less like a business–recovering fully, that is, all costs incurred in their operations through fees.

On the surface that seems smart: those of us of such “modest means” that the $6.50 entance fee for the rec. center is a budget buster (and there are a lot of us, especially if you include the ones who think it simply prudent to keep that $6.50 in their pocket right now) probably shouldn’t subsidize those who can already spring for the fee for a money-losing class, like drop-in Yoga.

But then, every city recreation facility, with the exception of the rez, competes with commercial recreation facilities, so it’s hard to see why we shouldn’t just privatize them completely if they’re going to be run as businesses anyway.

The idea should be to combine our tax money to provide opportunities that we can not afford individually, which is the way it works with parks and tennis and basketball courts. It is plain wrong to do that, combine our money to provide an otherwise unavailable opportunity, but then deliver that opportunity only to people of means.

Comments are closed.