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Old 04-06-2012, 09:32 PM   #1
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Washington State Boaters Alert

Excerpt from Boat US Government Affairs Bulletin

April 6, 2012


Dear Washington BoatU.S. Member:


In Olympia, plans are being made to divert funds that boaters pay for Washington’s boating programs to help balance the state’s budget. We urge you to weigh in on this proposal today!


Background: As part of the larger state budget debate, a proposal to take $2.6 million from the Recreational Resource Account has surfaced. These funds come from state taxes that Washington boaters pay on fuel to support essential boating infrastructure, including public boat ramps and their parking facilities, docks, and mooring buoys.


It is important to note — and the powers-that-be in Olympia need to hear this — that these taxes are in essence voluntary because boaters can request a refund of fuel taxes paid for fuel used in their boats, but few ever do.

We urge you to contact your state legislators and Governor Gregoire and ask them not to raid this fund. While we recognize Washington State faces significant budget challenges, taking dedicated boater funds that support our state’s $4 billion recreational boating industry, not to mention a time-honored family lifestyle, is not appropriate.


Send that message to your representatives and the Governor using your own words. In fact, sharing what boating means to you and to your family will significantly strengthen your message.

Margaret Podlich
President, BoatU.S.
GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com
703-461-2878 x8363
BoatUS.com/gov
For an update on this and other government affairs topics, please visit BoatUS.com/gov.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
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Your saying that we should get all steamed up over tax money collected that the state will freely give back? And people do'nt even care enough to ask for the return? Also this sounds a little like a "not in my back yard" issue. But I do agree w you that money collected for boating services should not be spent on something not even related to boating services.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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Your saying that we should get all steamed up over tax money collected that the state will freely give back? And people do'nt even care enough to ask for the return? Also this sounds a little like a "not in my back yard" issue. But I do agree w you that money collected for boating services should not be spent on something not even related to boating services.
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This article was posted for the information of voters and boaters in the "State of Washington." If you don't vote or boat here, then I wouldn't expect you to care one way or the other.

The State Highway tax that is charged at the pump for all vehicles, for cars/trucks goes into the highway fund for road improvement. For marine fuel the tax is used for marine recreation maintenance and improvement. (But it is an opt in or opt out program!) The monies from this account are earmarked for the specific purpose of maintaining marine recreasion facilities, which includes the guest docks and the hundreds of guest mooring buoys that pepper the many shallow bays of the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound in State Parks and DNR sites.

In prior posts, there have been many comments about the poor condition of these docks and buoys. It's not fun to have a mooring buoy let go in the middle of the night and put your boat on the rocks or step through a rotting dock plank!!

For those who care, if this money goes away, don't expect these facilities to get any better.

Larry B
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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Perhaps somebody cares about something more important that pleasure boating infrastructure. When we personally have X amount of money we spend it in a certain way and when we have less money some things become more important and others less. Like .......I need my dinner but new pants can be put off till next month. In the situation you present the tax structure probably needs to be changed but that, in our complicated democracy, would probably take time. So they raid the fund.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:05 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. manyboats. I've never been to Alaska but have always had the impression that it is the last American frontier. Tough mountain men and women, wrangling grizzly bears and all them other wild critters. You have just reenforced that impression!
Imagine, going around without pants!! (new pants can be put off till next month). I hope you are at least wearing your under drawers....
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:18 PM   #6
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Eric,

I have read that you are soon to be one of us Washingtonians. If you haven't lived here before, you will find out about all the taxes we boaters pay to help support our fine state. We have 9% sales tax, a 1/2% tax yearly on our boats value, a 12.4% 'leasehold' tax on the slip rent, and lastly, road tax on the gasoline sold at marine fuel docks. Diesel fuel is exempt from the road tax, but not gasoline.

Purchasers of marine gasoline can set up an account with the state and request a return of the tax after it reaches $100. Lots of boaters don't know or don't want to bother with all the bookkeeping and just let the state keep the tax. The tax is supposed to be used for marine facilities.

Now the state wants to take the tax and use it for other than marine facilities.

The current state government in in panic mode and is grabbing at any money they can find to continue spending. If the boaters don't complain, the money is gone, and public facilities we want to use go to crap.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Isn't that the truth!! This State doesn't have a tax revenue problem, it has a spending problem!! This is all about promises made and promises broken. Welcome to the other Washington.

Enough said!! Probably a better topic for OTDE.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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Isn't that the truth!! This State doesn't have a tax revenue problem, it has a spending problem!! This is all about promises made and promises broken. Welcome to the other Washington.

Enough said!! Probably a better topic for OTDE.
Exactly ...New jersey is the same when it come to getting the short end of the straw just too many times. Boaters pay into a fund that is raided and almost totally spent elsewhere.

I'm disgusted every time I cruise the Delaware river. Jersey side...almost NO state facilities/amenities for boaters where the Pennsylvania and Delaware sides both have decent and numerous facilities in comparison.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #9
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Get used to all these sideways appropriations of funds.

It will get severe on many levels before things go POP! That includes inside towns, counties, cities, states, US. Govt... and, in other nations too. Accounting principles that for decades have run our nation and other nations’ budgets have become so skewed that they appear irreparably broken.

The “fiat-crazed” Fed reserve is plumb running out of financial magic-bullets (QE # this and QE # that!) while the U.S. Govt goes broke and the U.S. economy/employment/housing is not recovering.

To keep things looking sunny... Stock Market and other Big Financial House manipulation by the Fed is daily ongoing... specifically for the purpose of painting a false picture of regaining prosperity that the news media can feed to the languishing general public so there always appears hope we can return to yesterday’s economic stability. That stability is now history and business-as-usual will not return, at least not in the same form as it previously existed. Outcome could become catastrophic economic confusion here and elsewhere (China anyone?? LOL). We’re NOT In Kansas Anymore Toto!! An entire new paradigm of finance will eventually emerge... but at what cost, and to what effect?

IMO, U.S. is being kept looking OK by Fed Reserve financial juggling act during 2012 election year... Then what??
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
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get used to all these sideways appropriations of funds.

it will get severe on many levels before things go pop! That includes inside towns, counties, cities, states, us. Govt... And, in other nations too. Accounting principles that for decades have run our nation and other nations’ budgets have become so skewed that they appear irreparably broken.

the “fiat-crazed” fed reserve is plumb running out of financial magic-bullets (qe # this and qe # that!) while the u.s. Govt goes broke and the u.s. Economy/employment/housing is not recovering.

to keep things looking sunny... Stock market and other big financial house manipulation by the fed is daily ongoing... Specifically for the purpose of painting a false picture of regaining prosperity that the news media can feed to the languishing general public so there always appears hope we can return to yesterday’s economic stability. That stability is now history and business-as-usual will not return, at least not in the same form as it previously existed. Outcome could become catastrophic economic confusion here and elsewhere (china anyone?? Lol). We’re not in kansas anymore toto!! An entire new paradigm of finance will eventually emerge... But at what cost, and to what effect?

imo, u.s. Is being kept looking ok by fed reserve financial juggling act during 2012 election year... Then what??
otde please!
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:58 AM   #11
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otde please!
Sorry Psneeld – My post # 10 was just to expand on context inside your and Edelweiss' posts on # 8 and # 7 respectively. I don’t mean to annoy, please forgive! Happy Boating! Art
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:46 PM   #12
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OK Firefly,
Going to have to kick those bear carcasses down the bank toward the creek as their starting to stink. Don,t want to give anybody the wrong impression, smell or anything rude or crude. Just trying to say that the raiding of the tax monies could be for things or services far more important than recreational stuff. It, possible we would be supportive if we were told the whole story. If they are raiding our recreational tax coffers for something of less value then I,d be bent out of shape too. But it,s hard to get worked up over the unknown. RT .... I hope you assume the pants I have will last until next month.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:17 AM   #13
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See 60 Minitues tonight? Euro Zone... be prepared, best as can!
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:19 AM   #14
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FL did this too

Back in the early 90's the state of Florida did a similar experiment. The state required all boat owners to buy a yearly sticker that ranged in cost depending on the size of the boat. For my 34' sailboat it was $50. The revenue generated from this sticker "tax" went to the states general revenue not toward supporting any boating or marine activities.

Many complaints were lodged and one that I wrote was posted in the Tampa Tribune. It seems there was significant support for this "tax" among the non boating voters. However as I noted in my editoral to the paper I proposed that a golf sticker be required that all golfers would have to buy annually to play golf, the revenue generated would go to the general fund. Ditto for tennis players, cigar smokers, Bar hoppers, etc, etc.

I would like to think that my input had some effect, but after 3 years the sticker was eliminated.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:29 AM   #15
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OK Firefly,
Going to have to kick those bear carcasses down the bank toward the creek as their starting to stink. Don,t want to give anybody the wrong impression, smell or anything rude or crude. Just trying to say that the raiding of the tax monies could be for things or services far more important than recreational stuff. It, possible we would be supportive if we were told the whole story. If they are raiding our recreational tax coffers for something of less value then I,d be bent out of shape too. But it,s hard to get worked up over the unknown. RT .... I hope you assume the pants I have will last until next month.
The problem for some of us is...they ALWAYS raid the fund for anything ...good or bad. If you are going to use a specific tax all the time...it should be redirected and shared by all....in other words...they are breaking their original promise (go figure).

The whole concept of the tax was to set aside monies for boaters rather than raid the general fund and have to "fight" for boat ramps while people elsewhere were in need. The isssue is..there will always be people in need so where does it stop?

Boat ramps and marine facilities bring money to local merchants, etc who pay into other tax categories....so forcing boaters to go to other states because of better facilities loses money for the state.

I know I'm talking about a situation more likely in NJ than anywhere else...but that's where I think it's obvious.

Other states just have to convince their taxpayers in other ways I guess...
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:41 AM   #16
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You guys are right. I have a tendency to support that which is not obvious, dark horses and opinions that are knee jerk reactions supported by lack of information and knowledge required to be objective. I spoze if a guy is sleep'in under a bridge and the state takes tax money to help him and that tax money was collected by knowledgable and willing tax payers for many things none of which was declared to help homeless people w/o shelter .......that would be wrong. Clearly a misuse of other peoples money. And it would seem to be especially unethical if it is done under the table. I've seen public money spent on things that never would have been supported by most of the people involved in other places and at other times. So the tax money collected for X should not be spent on Y .....I agree. But if it is spent on Y I'd sure like to know what Y was.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:06 PM   #17
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And that is the problem (in this State anyway.) You will never know what "Y" is, because they are raiding dedicated funds just to cover the general fund budget "deficit"? But the reality is, there is only a deficit because they are creating a larger budgets every year. Tax revenue continue to increase yearly, but never enough to keep up with the Legistative spending.

There is a general tax payer revolt here (look up the name Tim Eyman in Wikipedia to get an idea) and they keep passing voter referendum after referendum to limit the spending authority of the legislature. But they don't seem to get it and continue to look for loopholes in the laws for more revenue sources.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:05 PM   #18
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Oh yes I remember Tim Eyman. I had him classified as a public enemy. Do'nt remember what he was up to but I do remember it was over the top not good for the people at large. With his finger still in the pie he must be a politician by now.
But since the raiders are also the lawmakers progress will be slow if ever. If he got his nose in the right direction Eyman could possibly do some good.
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