Weekly 5: Federal boating bill would incentivize safety

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 Monday on BoatingIndustry.com.

1. Federal boating bill would incentivize safety

Two Florida members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Patrick Murphy and Republican Tom Rooney, have introduced legislation that would offer a financial incentive for boaters to install safety locator beacons, TCPalm reported.

The Florida legislature passed a similar bill earlier this month.

The "Austin and Perry Safe Boating Incentive Act" is named after Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both teenagers who disappeared while boating in Florida last year. The bill offers a tax credit worth half of the cost of the beacon, or $200, whichever is less, with a lifetime limit of $500.

2. Florida manufacturers get permanent tax benefit

A bill to make a temporary sales tax exemption for certain manufacturing machinery and equipment permanent has passed the Florida legislature, NMMA reported.

The current sales tax exemption was due to expire this April. Passage of the initial tax break was a priority for Florida Gov. Scott, making it likely he will sign the current bill, NMMA said.

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3. Boatbound discusses move to Seattle

Boatbound, one of the growing number of peer-to-peer rental companies in the boating industry, has moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Seattle.

The move puts Boatbound in its second-largest market after Florida, and provides a less expensive cost of living and doing business than Silicon Valley, founder Aaron Hall t0ld GeekWire.

4. Consumer sentiment at lowest level since October

The University of Michigan's preliminary sentiment index fell to a five-month low of 90 from to 91.7 in February, the Chicago Tribune reported.

All of the decline in confidence was among households at the bottom end of the income scale as prices at the gas pump marched higher, the paper said.

5. Instagram rolls out algorithms

In a change announced last week, Instagram posts "will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most." Previously, posts were shown in chronological order.

Think of it like Facebook, with its "Top Stories" feature versus "Most Recent." The exact fallout of this won't be known for a while, but it could mean changes in the way businesses engage on Instagram.

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