NMMA opposes measures in two states

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association is urging its members to speak out on proposals that would affect boaters in Florida and Illinois.

The National Park Service is proposing a limit on fishing and boating access in Biscayne National Park in Florida, the NMMA reported.

The plan would close more than 20 percent of the park’s public waters.

The NMMA is asking its members to contact their members of Congress to voice opposition to the plan. To join the NMMA task force on this issue, or for information, contact Nicole Vasilaros at nvasilaros@nmma.org or (202) 737-9763.

In Illinois, the Cook County Board is considering a tax increase on boat sales, along with higher taxes on products such as tobacco, cars and alcohol.

Facing a budget shortfall of $315 million, Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle is proposing a 0.25 percent tax increase on the sale of boats, the NMMA said. The proposed increase comes as the city of Chicago proposed a 12 percent increase in mooring and slip fees.

“These tax increases for recreational boaters will do little to increase actual revenue and have the potential to hinder boat sales, marine industry jobs and boating participation at a time during which it is ever important to grow and promote the industry,” according to the NMMA. “Recreational boating is a popular pastime in Illinois, with 370,000 registered boats, ranking it as the 11th-most-popular boating state.”

Contact Vasilaros for information.

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