The Oregon State Marine Board plans to ask state lawmakers to increase registration fees paid by powerboaters; one of eight "concepts" the agency plans to take to the Legislature in 2019 as part of its two-year, US$33m budget.
The Marine Board governs Oregon waterways, pays for county marine law enforcement, oversees guides and outfitter programs and funds the invasive species program and check stations operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The agency is funded by registrations, title fees and marine fuel taxes paid by boaters.
If approved by the 2019 Legislature, powerboat registration fees would rise from the current US$4.50 per foot to US$5.95 per foot, according to the Associated Press.
Additionally, a new waterways access permit to begin January 2020 would more than triple, and replace, the current US$5 annual Aquatic Invasive Species permit. The new fee would fund both invasive species control and projects that improve access for kayakers and rafters, who are often relegated to boat ramps and other facilities designed for powerboats. A separate invasive species component would require all boaters to "pull the plug" and open any vales to drain standing water while a boat is transported over land or face a fine.
Additionally, changes to outfitter and charter boat registrations and fees, a one-time doubling of boater registration card fees and a plan to allow the Marine Board to increase card suspensions from one year to three years for boating under the influence of intoxicants and a new one-year suspension for reckless boating.
The Marine Board also wants boat-rental companies to register with it and provide information about the numbers and types of boats they rent. There would be no charge.
The agency plans to tour the state during July, seeking public input to the proposals.