This election season, voters in several states considered ballot initiatives critical to those who fish, boat, and enjoy the outdoors.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association engaged in these issues and worked with various coalitions and stakeholders to help deliver a win for the industry. Below are details on each initiative.
California Proposition 6
About 55 percent of California voters stood by the state’s gas tax increase, rejecting Proposition 6, which would have repealed the tax increase and made it more difficult to enact future tax increases. The gas tax increase benefits boating because a portion of the new tax revenue goes to the state Boating and Waterway division of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Georgia Amendment 1
In Georgia, voters approved the creation of an “Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund” to protect water, wildlife, and parks. The constitutional amendment requires 80 percent of sales tax revenue collected from sporting goods stores in the state to be spent on land acquisition, improvements in hunting and fishing access, parks, trails, and water quality. The annual revenue is estimated to be $20 million.
North Carolina Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment
The North Carolina constitution will be amended to guarantee the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife. Although these sports are not currently under direct threat, 57 percent of voters supported preserving them into perpetuity, thus deflecting any future attempts to force restrictions.
For more information, please contact NMMA Vice President for State Government Relations, David Dickerson at firstname.lastname@example.org or NMMA Director of State Government Relations Libby Yranski at email@example.com.