Financial relief sought for Md. boating industry

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A Maryland lawmaker is sponsoring two bills in his state that seek to provide financial relief to the boating industry there, The Capital newspaper reported in a story on its’ Web site yesterday.

One bill being sponsored by Sen. John Astle, D-Annapolis, aims to help marinas and boatyards by making them eligible for property tax credits. It would expand the state's definition of "working waterfront" to include all facilities that require direct access to the water and local maritime businesses such as boatyards and waterfront recreational facilities could then take advantage of those credits, according to the story.

The bill has not yet been introduced.

The other bill would authorize grants from the state's Waterway Improvement Fund to support the Maryland Clean Marina certification. Astle introduced that bill last month, the newspaper reported.

Donna Morrow, administrator for the state's Clean Marina Program, said private marinas seeking to be certified or recertified as a state clean marina can receive up to a 50 percent grant match of $35,000 from the fund. The money can be used to fund best-management practices such as wastewater-recycling facilities, according to the story.

At a general membership meeting of the Marine Trades Association of Maryland last week, Astle said he hopes the two bills will pass this year and he believes they have a good chance to do so because they do not have any immediate costs associated with them, the newspaper reported.

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