Paul Rogers writes in this morning’s Mercury News that Santa Cruz Assemblyman John Laird wants to fund state parks by adding $10 to California’s annual car-registration fee.

Under his proposal, which is expected to face opposition from Republicans who call it a tax increase, a $10 annual surcharge would be assessed on the registration of all vehicles except trailers and commercial trucks.

In exchange, anyone driving a vehicle with a California license plate would get free year-round admission to any of the state park system’s 278 beaches, parks or museums – from redwood forests to Southern California sand dunes. Parks normally charge entrance fees between $6 to $10.

The proposal would become part of the Democrats’ draft state budget for the upcoming year if it clears a vote today in a Democratic-controlled budget committee, as expected.

Tempting, though it paves the way for using registration fees to subsidize a gazillion other state needs.

Then again, it’s only 10 bucks and my California license plates get me in free.