Paid permitting of paddle boats and boards Tuesday? 2017-11-28

One group wouldn’t do it, so its parent may: require paid permits for paddle boats and boards in Florida.

When: 9AM, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Where: Mission Inn, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-in-the-Hills, 34737
That’s a golf club resort halfway between The Villages and Orlando, rooms $179 to $246 for Monday night.

Who: Boating Advisory Council (BAC) of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

Event: On the agenda under “Unfinished Business / Updates”:
“Non-Motorized Boat Working Group Recommendations Review — William Griswold”

TripAdvisor, Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey in the Hills, FL 34737-3000
TripAdvisor, Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey in the Hills, FL 34737-3000

How to Comment: BAC doesn’t seem to have any contact information, but

Back in May, the BAC’s child, the Non-Motorized Boat Working Group (NMBWG), issued 24 pages of recommendations, including:

The majority of the non-motorized boats working group agrees that the non-motorized boating community already contributes to the user-pay/user-benefit without registration.

Plus plenty of verbiage making it clear they weren’t giving up on finding some way, any way, to raise money from paddlers: a boat tax, a permit or tag, Florida Amendment 1 funds, a permit allegedly about invasive plants, etc. They recommended BAC add paddle members beyond its current “one member representing canoe and kayak enthusiasts”, and BAC and FWC should keep

…gathering additional information and promoting improvements in safety and education. FWC could provide assistance in helping determine where and when current funding for access could be adjusted to support non-motorized boating projects where possible.”

Emphasis in the original, which let me translate for you: they’re dead set on getting money out of non-motorized boaters some way, some how. They spell it out in their last paragraph:

“Paying for benefits is already a way of life in Florida in many ways.”

Well, yes, actually Floridians and visitors already do pay for benefits through property taxes, sales taxes, boat rentals, etc.

See previous post for why a paid permit is a bad idea and a voluntary Vessel ID Sticker would solve most of the BAC’s and NMBWG’s stated safety concerns.

Also, Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel, 20 November 2017, Florida controversy persists over need for kayak and canoe registration and fees,

“I can guarantee you it’s still a hot-button issue,” [Brack] Barker said.

So why are BAC and FWC so insistent on finding a way to directly tax paddle boaters?

Some background in other posts:

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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