Distributional Effects of Entry Fees and Taxation for Financing Public Beaches

Frank Lupi, Roger H. von Haefen and Li Cheng


We use a multisite general population demand model to assess welfare and distributional effects of entrance pricing and taxation to finance Great Lakes beach management. We compare revenue resulting from uniform entry (i.e., gate) fees across sites to additional state income tax generating equivalent revenues. We present empirical demand elasticities with respect to total prices, including entry fees and elasticities with respect only to fees. We find that demand is price elastic for total trips and individual sites, with individual sites being significantly more elastic. Over a broad range of entry fees, total trip and site demands are fee elastic.