Boaters would foot the bill for proposed marine center

by Tim Flanagan on January 26, 2012

Deborah Bach has this story at Three Sheets Northwest:

Two bills proposed by Washington legislators would take money from an account dedicated to boating infrastructure around the state and charge boaters higher registration fees, troche
using the funds to study and establish a marine innovation center in Anacortes.

Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Anacortes) is sponsoring House Bill 2444, which would take $150,000 from the voter-approved Recreation Resource Account to study the development of a marine innovation center at Skagit Valley College. Senate Bill 6264, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Anacortes), would add $1 to vessel registration fees to develop the center.

The Recreational Boating Association of Washington (RBAW) and the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) are opposing the bills and urging boaters to do the same. The two groups say the legislation would unfairly siphon funds intended for another use and saddle boaters with additional fees when they already pay more than their fair share.

“If this precedent is allowed to stand, what stops the next legislature from taking dedicated account funds or adding a new fee for other pet purposes?” the RBAW wrote in an email to its members.

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