Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

RBOC, BoatUS and Coalition of Groups beat back 250% California boat registration fee hike proposal

by Scott Croft 25 Aug 2021 14:01 PDT
RBOC Board of Directors at the California State Capitol © Scott Croft

California's recreational boaters could have been in for a shock with a proposed 250% recreational vessel registration fee increase being discussed among Golden State legislators earlier this year.

However, a coalition of boating groups led by Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) and Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) successfully eliminated the fee increase from the state's recently announced budget proposal - but kept the door open to more equitably fund the state's boating safety, infrastructure, environmental and law-enforcement programs. The measure was supported by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"This is the right decision for boaters," said RBOC President Winston Bumpus. "The further we look into the many different pots where boater-generated fuel-tax dollars are placed, the more questions boaters have identified about the fairness of a registration fee increase."

Bumpus noted that Golden State boaters pay $107 million each year in fuel taxes to the state, yet only $15 million - or just 14% - is provided to the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund (HWRF) for a number of programs and services, including boater education and operator certification, safety and enforcement on the waterways, boating facilities, removal of abandoned and derelict watercraft, and efforts to combat aquatic invasive species. As recently as 2019, HWRF had teetered on insolvency.

BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs, David Kennedy said, "This is a great demonstration of the benefits of boaters engaging on issues that matter to their boating. Working with RBOC, more than 4,000 messages were sent by BoatUS members to the legislature and governor. It's clear their voices were heard."

Coalition members included the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association, Southern California Yachting Association, Marine Recreation Association, California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains, California Yacht Brokers Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains, as well as thousands of California boaters who took action.

The final state budget action allocates state general fund dollars to HWRF, which is administered by the California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW). RBOC, BoatUS and others are expected to participate in a public stakeholder process that DBW will initiate in the near future to develop recommendations for long-term solutions to the funding deficiencies with HWRF.

"Boat registration fees will be part of that conversation, together with efficiencies and improvements to existing programs and revisions to better serve the boating public," added Bumpus.

Related Articles

Capt. Dana Rutland adds 4th TowBoatUS location
24/7 on-water towing service ready to assist boaters Capt. Dana Rutland, owner of TowBoatUS on-water recreational boat towing ports in Savannah and St. Catherines, Georgia, and Beaufort, South Carolina, has opened his fourth location - this one on inland freshwaters. Posted on 2 Jun
Shonda Kennedy opens TowBoatUS New Smyrna Beach
A strong local TowBoatUS presence on Florida's First Coast for over 20 years In a business that requires captains to be ready at a moment's notice to head out on the water any time of day or night, always at the mercy of the sky and sea, being an on-water towing company owner has never been easy. Posted on 17 May
What's the Best 'Ship' in the Country?
Sea Scout Ship Viking of San Francisco honored with 2023-24 BoatUS National Flagship Award Sea Scout Ship Viking (Ship100) has been has named the 2023-2024 BoatUS National Flagship – a recognition as the best “ship” (Sea Scout group) in the country. Posted on 13 May
Jennings Durant takes helm of 3 TowBoatUS ports
A long-standing tradition with deep roots for Capt. Charles "Trip" Jennings Durant Making a living from the sea is a long-standing tradition with deep roots in Capt. Charles "Trip" Jennings Durant's family tree. Posted on 11 May
Chris Edmonston joins Boating Safety Hall of Fame
Chris has made boating safety education more accessible for thousands of America's boaters Making boating safety education more accessible by bringing courses online, growing the availability of on-water training programs Posted on 21 Apr
New owners of TowBoatUS Jordan Lake/Falls Lake
Capts. Branson and Megan Mosier helping boaters 24/7 Husband-and-wife team, Captains Branson Mosier and Megan Mosier, new owners of TowBoatUS Jordan Lake and TowBoatUS Falls Lake, are preparing their on-water towing fleet – three red 20-foot response vessels Posted on 12 Apr
TowBoatUS St. Charles under new ownership
Qith the recent purchase by Drew Nord, owner of Port Charles Harbor Marina The on-water recreational boat towing and assistance company, TowBoatUS St. Charles, is under new ownership with the recent purchase by Drew Nord, owner of Port Charles Harbor Marina. Posted on 6 Apr
Edmonston appointed to Rivers of Recovery Board
BoatUS Foundation President Chris Edmonston joins board of directors Rivers of Recovery (RoR) has appointed BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water president Chris Edmonston to its board of directors. Posted on 31 Mar
TowBoatUS Portland Oregon reopens at new location
24/7 on-water towing and assistance for recreational boaters at Fred's Marina After a short hiatus, the 24/7 on-water towing and assistance company for recreational boaters, TowBoatUS Portland Oregon, is back and reopened at Fred's Marina on the Multnomah Channel. Posted on 14 Mar
What's Your Dream Job?
TowBoatUS Capt. Mike Blunt just got his By the time Maine Maritime College student Mike Blunt had become the youngest towing captain employed at a recreational boat towing company in his home town of San Diego in 1998, he had already worked on a fuel dock Posted on 8 Feb
Selden 2020 - FOOTERCyclops 2022 November Load Pin FOOTERMarine Resources 2022 Salary Survey FOOTER