PIA Opposes New Hampshire Bill Imposing Registration Fees

Paddlesports Industry Association (PIA) Warns paddlesports businesses and enthusiasts in New Hampshire about state bill that would impose an annual registration fee on each vessel.
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(Springfield, VA.) – The Paddlesports Industry Association is encouraging paddlesports business owners and paddling enthusiasts in New Hampshire to contact their state legislators to let them know they oppose an annual $10 per boat registration fee and how Senate Bill 255 will hurt the state's paddlesports industry.

The bill, sponsored by Senators John S. Barnes, John T. Gallus, and Lou D'Allesandro, seeks to raise $1.8 million for the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game on the backs of paddlers and paddlesports businesses by adding a $10 annual registration fee for canoes and kayaks (and other non-motorized vessels). To date, the bill has passed a senate committee; a full senate vote is expected on March 22, 2007.

“Our association is very concerned with attempts like this to fund general government programs with taxes on canoes and kayaks. This tax provides no direct benefit to paddlers or paddlesports businesses in the state. All funds go directly to the Department of Fish and Game's operating fund,” said Paddlesports Industry Association Executive Director, Matt Menashes. "I know the pressures on New Hampshire's Department of Fish and Game. Their employees haven't had regular pay raises in years. But it's time for all of the citizens of New Hampshire to agree that New Hampshire Fish and Game is a priority. Funding increases should come from other state-wide taxes, not by hurting small business in the state." Menashes added, “There is nothing in the bill to support use of the money to expand paddling access in the state nor to improve boater education. All paddlers in New Hampshire need to fight this bill.”

As currently written, this bill will be particularly hard on paddlesports rental and outfitting operations in the state. Rental and outfitting businesses will be required to pay an annual $10 fee per boat and put two registration decals on each vessel. Many rental businesses in the state have dozens, if not hundreds, of canoes and kayaks. Just the paperwork alone for these businesses will have a significant impact on their bottom lines.

For more information contact Matt Menashes (703) 451-3864 x 26, matt@paddlesportsindustry.org.

To download a copy of the bill, visit http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2007/SB0255.html

A list of the Wildlife, Fish and Game Committee of New Hampshire is available online at:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ie/billstatus/commmail.asp?commcode=S35

To contribute to the Paddlesports Industry Association's government affairs fund, please contact Matt Menashes as well.

The Paddlesports Industry Association is a 501(c)(6) trade association dedicated to the growth of paddlesports. The association represents the interests of outfitters, manufacturers, retailers, instruction centers, sales representatives, and outside suppliers of the paddlesports industry throughout North America. The organization supports industry growth and its membership through programs that include representation in government/legislative affairs, consumer education, outreach/marketing initiatives, membership cost saving benefits, and professional development programs.

For more information about the Paddlesports Industry Association, visit http://www.paddlesportsindustry.org/paddlepro.htm.

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