Industry briefs congressional staff on boating trust fund

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BoatUS, the American Sportfishing Association and the National Marine Manufacturers Association hosted a briefing Sunday on the Sport Fish Restoration & Boating Trust Fund on behalf of the Congressional Boating Caucus.

The event was held in the Longworth House Administration hearing room in Washington, D.C., with nearly 30 congressional staff members in attendance.

It was the second in a series of four Congressional Boating Caucus policy briefings. Attendees learned about the significant contributions the fund has made to anglers and boaters nationwide.

The trust fund is what the NMMA calls “a critical funding tool for a diverse set of important state and national recreational fishing and boating programs.”

That includes recreational boating safety, boat manufacturing compliance, fisheries management, habitat conservation, vessel sewage pumpout stations, water and boating access infrastructure programs and aquatic resource education programs, among others.

Money for the trust fund is obtained through a user-tax system in which excise duties on fishing tackle and equipment and motor boat fuel and import duties on recreational boats and fishing equipment are collected for the sportfish restoration programs and boating programs operating under the Dingell-Johnson Sportfish Restoration Act.

The combined excise taxes and duties on the boating and fishing communities generate nearly $600 million annually.