Boat-fees plan under fire in Indiana

GARY, Ind. – A bill that would allow any Indiana city that has a port authority with a channel navigable to Lake Michigan, to impose docking and launch fees is causing controversy, according to a story in the Gary Post-Tribune.

The launch fee is capped at $1 per launch under the bill – which now awaits the governors signature – and the annual docking fee varies from 75 cents to $1.50 per foot, depending on the size of the boats, the story said.

The Post-Tribune reported that revenue from the fees would be used to clean area waterways.

“This is designed as more of a user fee … the launching fee would capture people from out of state, so it wouldn’t just be local residents paying,” said Rep. Duane Cheney, the bill’s author.

Marina owners have doubts

However, some area marina owners question how the fees would be collected, and say charging people more money to boat won’t help business, the story said.

“We want to attract boaters, not chase them away,” said Bob Frum Sr., owner of Lefty’s Coho in Portage, Ind.

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