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California trade group opposes invasive-species bill

Recreational Boaters of California is urging legislators to veto AB 2443, a bill designed to combat invasive species.

“We share the objective of combating invasive species,” the group wrote in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif. “Our organization remains unconvinced, however, that the provisions of this bill will accomplish this objective, and we do not believe that the provisions justify a possible doubling of the state registration fees paid by this state’s boaters.”

Recreational Boaters of California wrote that it had “serious concerns” about provisions of the bill, which would:

• Establish a new comprehensive statewide approach to combating invasive species without an examination of the effectiveness of programs being administered by a number of state agencies.

• Focus on the recreational boating public for new fees while there are many participants in the battle against invasive species.

• Impose fees on boaters throughout the state regardless of whether they boat in areas subject to infestation by invasive species.

• Ignore other solutions, including direction of the significant boat personal property taxes paid at the local level.

• Create situations in which boaters are paying fees although they never move their boats from one freshwater location and never present a risk.

• Create situations in which boaters are paying twice for the same program.

“RBOC has consistently stated that we would remove our opposition to AB 2443 if it were to be amended to replace the proposed increase in registration fees with provisions that would instead require the state to examine the effectiveness of the current programs being administered by a number of state and local agencies and develop recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the current approaches,” the group wrote.

Click here for a copy of the RBOC letter to Brown.

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