Author Topic: Boat Owners - FYI  (Read 215 times)

Online dubob

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Boat Owners - FYI
« on: Feb 13, 2020, 08:52 AM »
Yes, I know this is an ICE FISHING forum, but most of us are also boat owners and should be made aware of this latest mis-step by the Utah Legislature.  There has been a bill introduced this year (H. B. 255 - Main Sponsor: Waldrop) that is aimed at changing the law that deals with the AIS fees being collected from Utah boat owners.  The intent of the bill was to better allocate the funds collected so they can better support the AIS Program.  I'm all in favor of the AIS Program and EVERY boat owner should be as well.  The new bill will also levy a $20 fee on non-resident boat owners as well that use their boats in Utah.  It's about time.

However, the fee collection process under this new bill STILL has a MAJOR flaw; it  DOES NOT levy any fees on NON-REGISTERED water vessels like kayaks, float tubes, paddle boards, row boats, etc., that also contribute to the AIS threat if not properly CLEANED, DRAINED, & DRIED.  Okay, you don't have to drain a paddle board.   ;D

I have talked to Representative Waldrop on the phone and discussed the issues.  I brought to his attention some of the flaws in his bill that he was not aware of and he said he would look into them.  I sincerely hope he does.

I also drafted a letter and sent it to my Representative AND my Senator detailing some major defects in this bill and asked both of them to vote 'NO!' on it.  I would ask everybody that sees this to do the same.  Here is a copy of my letter.  PLEASE use it as a template and modify it any way you see fit and send it to your Legislators.

Quote
HB 255 - Boat Fees Amendments

This is in regard to HB255 sponsored by Representative Waldrop.  Scott Jenkins initiated a fee structure for the AIS Program back in 2015 I believe.  It was a very flawed bill then and the current bill will not fix the flaws.  Let me explain.

HB255 deals with fees needed to run the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program.  I am 100% in favor of this program.  Mr. Jenkins billís first flaw was that it ONLY required the fees to be paid by Utah registered boat owners.  Non-resident registered boats got a free ride as did Utah owners of non-registered boats (essentially any water vessel without a motor).  The second major flaw was that the fee was attached to the boat registration fee.  It SHOULD have been attached to a separate decal; NOT part of the boat registration cost.

While HB255 will correct the non-resident registered boat free ride, it does not say in what form the $20 fee will be collected.  Since a non-resident boat can operate for up to 60 days in Utah without incurring a registration requirement, how/where will the AIS fee be collected?  HB255 just says the fee will be $20 initially.  There is no mention about when or where this fee will be collected by the state of Utah.

Non-registered water vessel owners Ė both resident and non-resident Ė now get a free ride and donít have to pay the fee.  This would include float tubes, row boats, kayaks, paddle/sail boards, etc.  They will continue to get a free ride and will not be required to pay the fees to support the AIS Program.

If the State of Utah is going to have an AIS Program Ė and I think they should -, then ALL vessel owners, resident and non-resident, using registered or non-registered water vessels on Utah waters, SHOULD be paying the AIS fee to do so.  The mussels causing the problem have no clue as to which water vessels are registered and which arenít; they will attach themselves to both.

Senator Scott Jenkins informed me by email back in 2015 when I contacted him regarding the application of fees to registered Utah boat owners only that he was much more in tune with state issues than any of his constituents and he was better able to determine what was best for the state and that he didnít need any input to make the right decision on any issue.  I would hope that your attitude about your constituents is somewhat better than that.

There is a definite need to improve and enhance the Utah AIS Program.  HB255, as written, isnít the way to do that.  It should be defeated as written.  As a long-term boat owner, I would very much like to be involved with correcting the flaws in the current program.  Please let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Sincerely

You can find out how to contact your Legislators by going to this website: (Utah State Legislative District Maps) Once there, either enter your street address and ZIP Code; then click FIND.  Or zoom into the map on your home's location and click on the map near your home.  This will bring up both your Legislators.  Click on either box and you will then get their contact information.  Please do this yesterday.   ;D
:thumbsup:
Bob Hicks, from Utah
Iím 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
ďFree men don't ask permission to bear arms.Ē ― Glen Aldrich
ďBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter donít mind.Ē ― Dr. Seuss

Offline kayl

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #1 on: Feb 13, 2020, 09:18 AM »
Out of stater here, just saw this and was curious as to why the $20 fee should apply to non-motorized boats? Can't waders and wading boots spread invasive species too? Should they pay a fee? Seems a little over the top to me to have to pay $20 for your kid's kayak that cost $90 at Costco.  Do non-motorized boats have to be registered in Utah? We have a number of places where you can rent a tube (literally just a regular tube, nothing fancy) and float down the river for a couple of hours before getting picked up. Would those need to pay the fee?

We don't have an invasive species fee in WI, but most launches have cleaning stations and signage about how to avoid the spread.

Like I said, not trying to provoke, just genuinely curious so I can be well informed if they try to introduce a similar bill here.  I agree with you that the language is pretty vague!

Offline muskyon46

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #2 on: Feb 13, 2020, 12:42 PM »
There's definitely some tweaking that needs to be done for sure as the way they have been explaining it is "if it floats and goes on the water it needs a AIS form filled out". Now that should rule out waders and the such because they dont float, but some one tubing the river opens up something that hasn't been brought up yet. I'm very pleased that this fee will impact others coming from other states as all the states around Utah have had that in place for a while now. Pretty much why my boat doesn't leave the state anymore. Thanks for doing the research that we know your the best at Bob  :thumbsup:
         

Online dubob

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #3 on: Feb 13, 2020, 04:47 PM »
Out of stater here, just saw this and was curious as to why the $20 fee should apply to non-motorized boats? ALL boats (water vessels) can transport invasive species from one body of water to another.  ALL boat (water vessel) owners should share the cost to administer the program, not just registered boat (water vessel) owners.

Can't waders and wading boots spread invasive species too? Should they pay a fee?  Yes, they can.  And several states now ban the use of felt soled boots while fishing.  There are also a couple of countries that have banned felt soled boots.  However, they are NOT classified as a water vessel and I don't know of any state that requires an invasive species decal before using them in a water body.

Seems a little over the top to me to have to pay $20 for your kid's kayak that cost $90 at Costco.  Wyoming & Idaho charge $30 for their stickers.  Idaho charges less for non-motorized; it's only $7 for your kids kayak.  I don't know if Wyoming has this or not.  Currently Utah does NOT charge anything for unregistered (non-motorized) vessels.  They absolutely SHOULD be charging for ANY vessel IMHO.

Do non-motorized boats have to be registered in Utah? No, they do not.  And I'm okay with that.  And that is exactly why I beleive the AIS fee should be to purchase a seperate decal and NOT be added to the boat registration fee.  EVERY vessel owner should be required to support and fund this program.

We have a number of places where you can rent a tube (literally just a regular tube, nothing fancy) and float down the river for a couple of hours before getting picked up. Would those need to pay the fee?  If the state defines it as a water vessel, then yes, a decal should be required to place it in a state water body.

We don't have an invasive species fee in WI, but most launches have cleaning stations and signage about how to avoid the spread.

Like I said, not trying to provoke, just genuinely curious so I can be well informed if they try to introduce a similar bill here.  I agree with you that the language is pretty vague!
Aquatic invasive species are a complex issue and VERY expensive to control.  But control is required and the money has to come from somewhere.  Bernie would have you beleive otherwise, but there really isn't any free lunch.
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Bob Hicks, from Utah
Iím 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
ďFree men don't ask permission to bear arms.Ē ― Glen Aldrich
ďBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter donít mind.Ē ― Dr. Seuss

Offline Icefishingute

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #4 on: Feb 13, 2020, 07:43 PM »
I agree with most of what you say, especially the out of state fee. Iím about fed up with buying a Wyoming and Idaho sticker every year, while residents from those states pay nothing to boat in Utah. Here is where I slightly disagree with your stance. I currently own a crestliner, duck boat, Jon boat, 3 kayaks, float tube, 2 river pontoon boats and a paddle board (I know, why wife reminds me all the time- I have 5 bbqís/smokers too- she is very understanding to my hobbies). Thereís no way I will vote or support legislation to pay a fee on each of those. I will however support a transferable sticker or placards that I can move from vessel to vessel. I never use them at the same time. You donít think I should pay the AIS fee 10xís per year, do you?  Iím thinking a transferable placard to the named owner solves that situation- whatís your thoughts,

Online dubob

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #5 on: Feb 13, 2020, 10:53 PM »
I agree with most of what you say, especially the out of state fee. Iím about fed up with buying a Wyoming and Idaho sticker every year, while residents from those states pay nothing to boat in Utah. Here is where I slightly disagree with your stance. I currently own a crestliner, duck boat, Jon boat, 3 kayaks, float tube, 2 river pontoon boats and a paddle board (I know, why wife reminds me all the time- I have 5 bbqís/smokers too- she is very understanding to my hobbies). Thereís no way I will vote or support legislation to pay a fee on each of those. I will however support a transferable sticker or placards that I can move from vessel to vessel. I never use them at the same time. You donít think I should pay the AIS fee 10xís per year, do you?  Iím thinking a transferable placard to the named owner solves that situation- whatís your thoughts,
Sorry - you won't like them.   ;D  If you do that, then the next logical step would be to ask for a transferable boat registration.  Or how about we issue one transferable trailer license plate to folks that have multiple trailers?  If that's a good idea, then it should work for vehicles as well; one license plate for multiple vehicles.  I'm fairly convinced that the state isn't going to buy into any of those.  There isn't going to be one solution that will be prefect for everybody.  But what we have now is terrible and doesn't require all owners who can impact the issue to pay for the program to fix the issue.

This is only a WAG, but you having 10 water vessels and 5 BBQ/smokers says that the financial burden of 10 decals at $10 a pop placed on you is not going to break the bank.  I will be perfectly happy if the state will switch to a decal system and require it for EVERY water vessel using Utah water bodies.
:thumbsup:
Bob Hicks, from Utah
Iím 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
ďFree men don't ask permission to bear arms.Ē ― Glen Aldrich
ďBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter donít mind.Ē ― Dr. Seuss

Offline Icefishingute

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #6 on: Feb 14, 2020, 01:11 AM »
Your talking about adding a fee that doesnít currently exist. Totally different than a registration or license plates that I knew was law when I bought my boat. I chose that going in.

All my watercraft values added together donít total the value of 90% of the boats I see launching. So your assumption may not be as accurate as you think. Iím fine with your ďyou can afford itĒ view as long as it is based on value. My $3,500 fishing boat should be 10% of a $35,000 boat. My opinion is still that Iím only using one boat at a time, therefore my burden on the system is the same as a single boat owner. I would be perfectly fine paying for a decal for all my watercraft if the funds donít go to support paying for the useless system we have in place now. Paying an employee to sit in their truck and ask where your boat was last isnít going to do anything to prevent the spread. Here is an idea. Have your decal be a bar code that opens a gate across the ramp. If you were on an infected water last, the gate doesnít open until your decontaminated. No paying people to do nothing and solves the issue of ramp launched boats. The feds could implement this and make it effective across state lines.

Offline muskyon46

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #7 on: Feb 14, 2020, 08:09 AM »
I would be perfectly fine paying for a decal for all my watercraft if the funds donít go to support paying for the useless system we have in place now. Paying an employee to sit in their truck and ask where your boat was last isnít going to do anything to prevent the spread.

As a multiple craft owner I totally agree with tweeking how the $$ will be spent/is being spent and collected. As for the people at the ramps checking boats and flushing, I believe some if not all are voluntarily doing it for dedicated hunter type programs or internships with the DNR. Not 100% on that but the ones I've talked to have mentioned something like that a few times.
         

Online dubob

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #8 on: Feb 14, 2020, 09:13 AM »
Your talking about adding a fee that doesnít currently exist. Totally different than a registration or license plates that I knew was law when I bought my boat. I chose that going in.  The AIS fee has existed in Utah since 2015 when the $10 fee was added to the boat registration total.  I told the idiot that wrote the original bill (State Senator Scott Jenkins) that it was flawed and even discussed it with my legislators and they agreed it was flawed.  They discussed it with Jenkins.  His attitude was 'Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up.'  So you've been paying this AIS fee on your registered water vessels since 2015.  It is NOT something new.

All my watercraft values added together donít total the value of 90% of the boats I see launching. So your assumption may not be as accurate as you think. Iím fine with your ďyou can afford itĒ view as long as it is based on value. My $3,500 fishing boat should be 10% of a $35,000 boat. My opinion is still that Iím only using one boat at a time, therefore my burden on the system is the same as a single boat owner. I would be perfectly fine paying for a decal for all my watercraft if the funds donít go to support paying for the useless system we have in place now. Paying an employee to sit in their truck and ask where your boat was last isnít going to do anything to prevent the spread. Here is an idea. Have your decal be a bar code that opens a gate across the ramp. If you were on an infected water last, the gate doesnít open until your decontaminated. No paying people to do nothing and solves the issue of ramp launched boats. The feds could implement this and make it effective across state lines.
To the best of my knowledge, I don't know you.  I can only respond to you based on what I see you post on here.  I respect your opinion and have no quarrel with you.  I 100% disagree with some of what you have posted.  The system we have is NOT useless.  However, it is flawed and can be improved.  Representative Waldrop (a boat owner himself) knows that the system isn't perfect and wrote his bill (HB255) to try to improve it.  After he talked to me on the phone and realized that he wrote it without fully understanding the full impact (or lack thereof) of his bill, he said he would look into it a little deeper and get back to me.  My Representative responded back to my email and told me he talked to Representative Waldrop and Waldrop told him he was going to get back to me.  So you see, contacting your state legislators does sometimes work.

My point in starting this thread was to get Utahans involved in the legislative process by contacting their representatives and let them know there is a problem with the impact of HB255 if it passes as written.  Voicing your opinions on fishing/boating forums or social media outlets will NOT accomplish anything and the current flaws and proposed changes to fix those flaws will not change.  You need to contact YOUR legislators and tell THEM your opinions on the issue.  Most of them will listen to any reasonable argument or presentation of factual data you can find and present to them.  I've already given you the links to your legislators and a template letter to use and send to them.  Modify it or write your own and express your opinion and send it to them.  Discussing your opinions/ideas as opposed to mine on a fishing forum isn't doing anything to correct the problems we individually think exist.  Until/unless you become proactive and contact your legislators and ask them to vote against this flawed bill (HB255), you are part of the problem.  So, I'll ask you one more time, contact your legislators and give them your opinions on the issue.  Debating me on IceShanty isn't going to change anything.

Have a great day Sir.   :)
:thumbsup:
Bob Hicks, from Utah
Iím 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
ďFree men don't ask permission to bear arms.Ē ― Glen Aldrich
ďBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter donít mind.Ē ― Dr. Seuss

Offline Icefishingute

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #9 on: Feb 14, 2020, 11:57 AM »
I have contacted them, and gotten a response. The way I see it is you and I are on the same page here.  Iím just suggesting to broaden your view so ALL our side can unite. My view is just another perspective. I donít think my kids unicorn floaty, because it floats on a lake, needs the same AIS tax as a $100k wake board boat does.  I think the biggest flaw is no out of state fee. Relate it to hunting:  a resident OTC elk tag in Utah is $50. Non-res Wyo/Id is $500-700 and climbing yearly.  If Utah implements an AIS sticker fee, I feel that same ratio should apply. It will create a state line fee war, which I think Wyoming and Idaho started. We (Utah) need to catch up.  Thatís why I feel this is one of the few things the federal government could manage better than states will.  Your fighting a good fight and I appreciate it, as well as any Utah watercraft owner should. The system definitely needs some fixing and fine tuning.

Online dubob

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Re: Boat Owners - FYI
« Reply #10 on: Feb 14, 2020, 12:34 PM »
I have contacted them, and gotten a response. Thank you - ya done good.   ;D

The way I see it is you and I are on the same page here.  Mostly, we are.   ;D

Iím just suggesting to broaden your view so ALL our side can unite. My view is just another perspective. I donít think my kids unicorn floaty, because it floats on a lake, needs the same AIS tax as a $100k wake board boat does.  I tend to not think about those complex processes to collect fees.  While the state has some structured fee systems, I don't know what is involved in implementing one for an AIS Decal if/when they come to their senses and implement one.  Too many variables here for me to bother with.  The state has the resources to implement a structured payment system if it is determined to be warranted.

I think the biggest flaw is no out of state fee.  HB255 would change that.  However, HB255 has no process whereby to actually collect the non-resident fee because Utah allows non-resident water vessels to operate for up to 60 days a year without registering in Utah.  That's just one of the things that Representative Waldrop didn't know and is looking into.

Relate it to hunting:  a resident OTC elk tag in Utah is $50. Non-res Wyo/Id is $500-700 and climbing yearly.  If Utah implements an AIS sticker fee, I feel that same ratio should apply. It will create a state line fee war, which I think Wyoming and Idaho started. We (Utah) need to catch up.  Utah definitely needs to charge non-resident water vessel owners operating on Utah waters an AIS fee.  WE NEED TO HAVE A DECAL SYSTEM!

Thatís why I feel this is one of the few things the federal government could manage better than states will.  Here is one of those things we will never agree on.  State governments are bush league when it comes to messing things up in the law making business.  The Feds are pro all the way.  I definitely don't want the Feds involved in this in any way, shape, or form.  I worked as a Fed (military & civil service) almost all of my adult life.  We DO NOT want to go there.

Your fighting a good fight and I appreciate it, as well as any Utah watercraft owner should. The system definitely needs some fixing and fine tuning.  On that we are 100% in agreement.   ;D
:thumbsup:
Bob Hicks, from Utah
Iím 77 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
ďFree men don't ask permission to bear arms.Ē ― Glen Aldrich
ďBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter donít mind.Ē ― Dr. Seuss

 



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