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November 17, 2006

Special Legislative Alert

Local and state governments trying to eliminate exemption from taxes on navigable waterways
Local and state governments trying to eliminate exemption from taxes on navigable waterways
  America Outdoors has been monitoring the Coast Guard Reauthorization bill in anticipation of an attempt by counties and state government to authorize amusement and other taxes on rafting and similar outfitted trips on navigable waters.

AO's Washington lobbyist Bill Horn has discovered a provision that was recently put in the Senate version of H.R. 5681 (bills that originate in House retain their H.R. designation in the Senate) that authorizes counties and state governments to levy privilege and amusement taxes on raft and river trips on navigable waterways. States do have the authority to collect fees to enhance safety and security (regulate), but many local governments have been trying to add additional taxes on outfitters, guides and other recreation businesses.

The Senate goes in recess today and will return on December 5th.

Take action immediately:
  • Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121. Ask for your Senator's office and the staffer in charge of the Coast Guard issues.
  • Ask your Senator to strike Section 302 of H.R. 5681, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2006. (Section 302 does not affect the Coast Guard). This provision repeals Section 445 of the Maritime Security Transportation Act (MSTA). Also, call House members since the bill will likely return to the House for a conference report and another attempt to insert the provision could be made then.
For more information call David Brown, 865-558-3595. It is also important to fax a letter. Call or write them but do not send emails. Call the AO office to ask for your Senator's office fax number.

Forward this to other outfitters who may not be AO members.

Committee Chairs in the Senate:
Honorable Ted Stevens, Chairman Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
Honorable Olympia Snowe, Chairwoman Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
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America Outdoors® Inc., PO Box 10847, Knoxville, TN, 37939

America Outdoors Staff Title E-mail address
David L. Brown Executive Director dbrown@americaoutdoors.org
Robin Brown Communications Director robin@americaoutdoors.org
Elizabeth Bentley Office Manager office@americaoutdoors.org
Office Phone 865-558-3595
Office Fax 865-558-3598

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