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California group opposes boating fund proposal

Recreational Boaters of California is urging boaters in the state to contact local officials and urge them to vote against a bill they say will use money from a boating fund to prevent damage to streets and properties caused by beach erosion and flooding.

Senate Bill 436 would open up the boater-financed state Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund, according to the trade group, and use it to prevent damage caused by erosion and flooding and includes $1 million for streets and properties along Huename Beach.

“While RBOC recognizes the importance of prevention efforts at Hueneme Beach, boaters are not the source of the damage, nor are they the beneficiaries of the prevention efforts that would be financed by their fuel tax dollars and registration fees,” a letter to members stated.

“As the Department of Boating and Waterways has now become a division within the Department of Parks and Recreation, effective July 1 ... it is critical that the transition preserves and maintains the integrity, vitality, structure, funding and effectiveness of the HWRF [fund] that works hard to provide programs and services that directly benefit boaters who provide their hard-earned taxes and fees for this special fund,” the letter stated.

The letter urges members to act quickly; the bill was created through amendments Sept. 6 and the group anticipates it will be acted upon before the legislature recesses.

Click here for the full letter.

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