Bill to increase boat fees drawing opposition

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 11:18 AM.

While the fees for boats 14 feet and smaller would remain relatively the same, the increases are significant as sizes increase. And the hike in fees would make North Carolina’s boat registration fees the highest of bordering coastal states.

Registration for a 20-foot boat, which is close to the average size for recreational boats across the nation, would jump to $150 for a three-year registration, an increase of 275 percent.

Bill Tarplee, owner of Tideline Marine in Jacksonville, said boaters may be willing to accept a modest increase but the proposed hike is too high.

"If the increase was not quite as much as proposed it would be much more acceptable," he said.

But concerns are not over the fee amount alone.

Tarplee said that if there is an increase, boaters want to be sure that the money is going directly to inlet dredging.

"If they are going to pay an increase in fees, they want the money dedicated for that purpose," he said.



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