Maryland is home to more than 191,000 registered boat users. With stunning water ways and a first-rate commercial fishing atmosphere, our state is the ideal place to be a boat owner. Boat users have also been fortunate to have low registration fees for the last three decades. But now, the $24 flat fee, paid every two years, could be increased to $50 to $700, depending on the size of the boat.
House Bill 1307 is the latest proposed fee increase by the Governor to make up for lost revenue and maintain services in a weak economy. In addition to the registration fees, state officials are also asking to raise the annual cost of a boat dealer license from $25 to $100. This fee has not been changed since 1965, and there should be no reason why it should be increased now.
These increases could lead to diminishing returns for boat owners in Maryland as well being hard on the commercial fishermen of Maryland. As a boat admirer, and friend of many boat users, I am adamantly against any increases in boating fees. With the current economy, the increase will be hard on all boat users, some of who will have to pay almost 10 times more in fees.
In addition to the Governor’s Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2011 (BRFA) which reduces the mortgage interest deduction and the deductibility of state and local property taxes for many Maryland homeowners, these continual burdens on the citizens of Maryland will only further harm our state.
It has always been my personal goal to work with others to offer a more fiscally sound, balanced budget, and I will continue to support the boat owners of Maryland to keep fees low. We should work to reduce the scope and size of government, not burden our citizens with filling the gaps that have been created through foolish spending.
For more information on proposed legislation, please visit: http://mlis.state.md.us/2012rs/Wrap_up/current_issue.pdf. As always I look forward to hearing from you.
Delegate Joe Boteler III
"A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the objects of the government; secondly, a knowledge of the means, by which those objects can be best attained." --Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833