MTAM Legislative Accomplishments
One of the most significant benefits to membership in MTAM is our active input and participation into proposed legislation and regulations that affect boating in Maryland. MTAM has had a tremendous affect on making sure that Maryland waters remain some of the best waters in the world to recreate or in which to do business.
2013 Session: MTAM passed a bill to cap the excise tax on boats in Maryland. The bill also required .5% of the motor fuel tax increase after distributions to go to the Waterway Improvement Fund. This bill makes Maryland competitive with our neighboring states and helps us to capture the maintenance, storage and repair money associated with larger vessels – this bill creates jobs in our industry.
2012 Session: MTAM worked to kill a luxury tax on boats valued at more than $35,000 and defeated a bill that would have taxed the service of ‘docking and landing’ a boat. In addition, we pushed for marine fuel facilities to be exempted from fuel taxes that go into repairing roads and bridges and passed a Bill that made dyed diesel tax collection the same as on-road diesel tax collection.
2011 Session: MTAM worked on a noise regulation that adds marine equipment to the list of exemptions that currently includes lawn mowers and leaf blowers from meeting 64dB during the hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
2010 Session: MTAM worked to inform elected officials about the impact of a Statewide No Discharge Zone. While MTAM supports efforts that reduce nitrogen levels in the Bay, this measure would have reduced the annual nutrient load by less than three thousands of 1%. The NDZ bill was defeated and valuable coalitions were built between MTAM and key stakeholders in the State and National maritime industry.
2009 Session: MTAM successfully passed a bill that enables Counties to grant tax credits to working waterfronts defined as marinas, boatyards, etc. This Bill was as a result of the State Task Force to Study the Boating Industry.
2008 Session: MTAM closely monitored the bills pertaining to changes to the Critical Areas Commission. We successfully lobbied for the addition of “Commercial Marinas” as a separate entity for consideration under the establishment of comprehensive standards and procedures for buffer establishment and maintenance. Through our input, the Commission, has acknowledged the difference between what is water dependent to a commercial marina being different from what is water dependent to a homeowner.
In the 2007 Special Session: We successfully worked to keep marine services off the list of taxable services.
2007 Session: MTAM worked to pass a bill that requires a State task force to study the boating industry. The task force will look at economic development incentives for marine businesses, ways of extending the stay of the visiting boater, the permit process and other issues that impact the growth potential of the Maryland maritime industry.
2006 Session: MTAM defeated a bill that would have imposed a “lemon law” on all boat sales. MTAM recognized that this would have been detrimental to the growth of our industry because of the many manufacturers involved in the end product boat. In addition, we worked to defeat a bill that would have required life jackets to be worn at all times by all boaters. MTAM worked to support additional funding to the Tourism Department in Maryland reminding the legislator that some tourists visit Maryland by boat.
2005 Session: The Association passed a bill legalizing 8’6” boat trailers in Maryland. Prior to this piece of legislation, it was illegal to drive 8’6” trailers on Maryland’s secondary roads where most boat ramps are located.
2004 Session: MTAM defeated a $50 fee on the use of any commercial boat slips in the State of Maryland. This “slip tax” would been paid only by those boaters who kept their boats in marinas. MTAM argued that it was an inequitable tax. MTAM also defeated a proposal to do away with the trade-in allowance and a proposal to tax services at 5% as goods are taxed. MTAM passed a bill that will allow an out of state resident who purchases a boat in Maryland to stay for at least 90 days, thereby utilizing our yards for commissioning.
2003 Session: MTAM worked to defeat a bill that would done away with the 1.2% of the excise tax that the boat dealer currently keeps to offset the administrative costs in collecting and remitting the tax.
2002 Session: Modified the State Boat Act to provide out-of-state boaters to recreate on Marlyland’s waters for 90 days each year without the need to title the vessel or to pay the excise tax. Further modifications allowed for an out-of-state boat to remain in Maryland for repairs or if held for sale by a dealer.