As of this weekend, tax is being charged on the parking fee at Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield. The 6.35 percent sales tax requirement was tucked into the state budget signed by Governor Malloy June 30th. The three shoreline parks started collecting the sales tax around the 4th of July. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Spokesman Dennis Schain says they've been slowly adding to the number of parks where tax is collected.
25 of the 109 state parks and forests charge for parking, including Kettletown in Southbury and Kent Falls. The tax revenue will be placed into a general fund, not necessarily going back to the parks.
Fees had been based on round numbers, and staff member didn't used to need coins. He says DEEP has made arrangements with the banks they deal with to make certain there is plenty of change on hand. Schain says it's a little more difficult now to make change, but hasn't added too much time to the wait to get into parks.
Schain says parks are open year round, but for the most part fees will stop after next weekend.