Distributional Effects of Entry Fees and Taxation for Financing Public Beaches

CEnREP Working Paper No. 21-001


We use a detailed multi-site recreation demand model and general population dataset to assess the demand, welfare and distributional impacts of entrance pricing and taxation schemes to finance Great Lakes beach management. We compare the revenue resulting from uniform entry fees, or gate fees, across sites to additional state income tax that would generate equivalent revenues. We present empirical demand elasticities with respect to total prices inclusive of entry fees as well as elasticities with respect only to the fees. We find that demand is price elastic for total trips and for individual sites, with individual sites being significantly more elastic. However, over a broad range of entry fees, both total trips and individual site demands are elastic with respect to entry fees.

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