Much literature discusses the use and value of user charges and fees but practically no literature investigates the uses of the “opt-out” fee in lieu of a user charge. While user charges are the fastest growing type of governmental revenue, one case study shows the feasibility of constructing and operating an opt-out fee to fund an excludable public goods service. The op-out fee provided the Montana Park and Recreation Department substantial funding and allowed the state to eliminate an entrance fee and reallocate general fund revenues elsewhere. While somewhat inefficient and relatively inexpensive to administer, the opt-out fee advanced equity as more low-income users accessed state parks.
& Neuby, B. L.
A Case Study of the Montana “Opt-Out” Fee.
Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 3(3).