BI Weekly 5: Election’s impact on boating


Christopher Gerber (
November 6, 2012
Filed under Weekly 5

Editor’s Note: The BI Weekly 5 is a collection of tips, news and data affecting the boating industry this week. Be sure to look for the BI Weekly 5 every Tuesday on

1. Election’s impact on boating

There’s no doubt today’s voting could impact boating in a major way, from the Federal level on down to local initiatives. Obviously, at the national level which party controls Congress and the White House will affect a number of issues including the sequestration or “fiscal cliff,” but also regulatory issues such as PFDs, fuel standards and E-15. The tax system could also look radically different (see No. 3 below for one example.)

In Kansas, boating is on the ballot, with a proposed constitutional amendment to lower the tax on boats and bring it in line with other recreational vehicles.

Finally, several state legislatures continue to debate increased licensing and safety restrictions for boaters, so it’s worth keeping an eye on things in states like Georgia New York, Nebraska and Virginia to name a few.

We’ll have post-election coverage and how it relates to the boating industry later this week on

2. Tablet ownership continues to soar

Nearly a third of Americans now own tablets, double the number at this time last year, according to a new study from the Consumer Electronics Associations.

And that’s before the iPad mini went on sale this past weekend. Look for more on how tablets are reshaping how consumers buy in an upcoming issue of Boating Industry.

3.  Tax hike pushing small biz to sell

Many small business owners – especially those nearing retirement age – are trying to sell their businesses before the end of the year, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

That’s because the pending rise in the capital gains tax could mean thousands if not millions of dollars in additional tax bills for some business owners. With no further action, the current 15 percent rate will rise to 20 percent January 1. There is an additional 3.8 percent scheduled to take effect because of a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Congressional leaders and both presidential candidates have said they want to keep the rate lower, but differ on what income levels that would apply to.

4. Reports show rising consumer lending, less small biz borrowing

The quarterly lending report from the Federal Reserve shows consumers are borrowing more money for high-ticket items like mortgages and automobiles. While the report doesn’t break out boating as a category, the increase in borrowing and slightly eased standards bode well for the industry.

At the same, time Thomson Reuters reports that lending to small businesses dropped to its lowest point in 14 months in September. Analysts say that is a worrisome sign as small businesses are usually responsible for much of the job creation after a recession.

5. MDCE kicks off next week

Online registration has closed for the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, but you can still attend and register on site in Orlando. The conference features more than 25 educational opportunities, as well as the largest exhibit floor ever. Find out more at


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