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Boaters, anglers oppose saltwater fishing license

A coalition of boating and fishing groups is fighting a proposal by New York Gov. David Paterson that would require saltwater anglers to buy a $19 saltwater license ($40 for out-of-state anglers) before casting a line in New York coastal waters.

The requirement, they say, would hurt marinas, tackle shops and marine dealers, most of which are already suffering from a decline in business.

This proposal is in addition to a proposed luxury tax on all boats costing more than $200,000, an increase in marina fees, an increase in state park fees, and a lifting of the cap on state fuel taxes.

"We're outraged that the governor would recommend not one but five new or increased taxes targeting fishermen, boaters and the $1 billion New York recreational fishing industry. We're experiencing an unprecedented downturn in fishing activity. Even fishing from the shore will be an expensive outing under this tax plan," said Jim Donofrio, executive director of Recreational Fishing Alliance, in a statement.

Joining in RFA's opposition is a coalition comprising the National Marine Manufacturers Association, New York Fishing Tackle Trade Association, United Boatmen of New York, and the New York Marine Trades Association.

The new coalition is calling itself Save Boating and Fishing Jobs in New York.

Recreational fishing in New York created $812 million in sales, directly supported 5,365 jobs, and provided $424 million in value-added economic impact and $126 million in tax revenue, according to a 2006 National Marine Fisheries Service study.

To learn more and to send a form letter to Paterson, visit the RFA Web site.

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