Bill to increase boat fees drawing opposition

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

The bill establishes a Shallow Draft Inlet Dredging Fund but there are questions about whether the wording of the bill makes that clear.

Boat registration and titling fees now go into the N.C. Wildlife Resources Boating Account, which is used for boating and water safety activities.

Brown has said all newly generated funds would go to the dredging fund. The bill states that the commission shall transfer on a quarterly basis at least 50 percent of each one-year certificate and at least 50 percent of each three-year registration fee collected to the new inlet dredging fund.

BoatUS officials hope to see revisions to the bill.

In addition to the concerns over the increased fees, Wood said they believe the cost should be shared among all the users of the inlets and not just recreational boaters.

"As far as representing our members, we want to be sure all the boaters using the inlets are paying into the system," she said.

The are some boat owners who pay to register their vessels who never use the inlets. There are coastal boaters who never transit offshore and boaters who stay on the state’s lakes and rivers. 

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