EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Marine waters  (Read 8177 times)

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44559
    • RV Forum web site
Marine waters
« on: October 24, 2013, 04:15:38 PM »
I just opened the DMV renewal for 3 of our small boats and had sticker shock. The $5/year ($10 for two years) fee had previously doubled to $20, and there's now a $16 "quagga and zebra mussel infestation prevention fee" of $16, for a total of $36.

There's an option for an exemption for vessels "used only in marine waters", and my first thought was to wonder what their definition of 'marine waters' is. I started doing some reading, including some CA legislature documents, and realized that it doesn't necessarily mean ocean. So I placed a call to the DMV. The ensuing discussion was another example of our tax $$$ being wasted.

The nice lady said "it means salt water". I explained that we're in tidal waters that I loosely call "brackish"; The amount of salinity varies with the twice daily tidal flow that peaks approx 5 hours later than the Golden Gate. We went around and around and, at one point, the lady asserted that San Francisco Bay was not "salt water". I had to rein in my laughter (and apologized for laughing).

The definition changed to "you have to pay if you boat in lakes or rivers". I patiently explained that the two rivers and connecting sloughs that make up the Delta are tidal, and that the salinity changes with the tidal flow. I finally figured out that the lady didn't understand tides and had no clue about different degrees of salinity.

A little more pushback received a new definition "unless you're in the ocean, you pay". That's a definition I can understand, although it didn't agree with her prior definition or some of the stuff I've read. Before thanking the obviously-frustrated lady and hanging up, I suggested she do some reading and get clarification before the next person called.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 08:41:09 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

captsteve

  • ---
  • Posts: 2350
  • measure with a micrometer, cut with a chainsaw!
Re: Marine waters
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 07:48:49 PM »
It's all kinda crazy. You should see the amount of paperwork involved on my ship for changing marine zones ( moving to a different port) or discharging ballast water (which is all from a municipal source)

We are required to do a ton of paperwork and then file it away and no one cares to ever look at it. The EPA requires that we do it, then charged the USCG with enforcement. The USCG refuses to look at any of it and says that if the EPA wants it done they can enforce it. It's just a real time waster that creates a paperwork burden of 6-8 hrs. a week with no oversight.

I call this stuff job justification for a bunch of paper pushers. I completely understand the Invasive Species problem, but this is getting stupid.
Capt Steve has the Conn, Trina navigator ( Admiral )
2004 American Revolution 40c (aka Fat Girl) **Sold**
2017 Ram 1500 (Future Toad)
Piper Archer II  (Where the RV money goes)

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44559
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Marine waters
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 07:59:59 PM »
I can only imagine what you're having to go through Steve.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Jeff

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 8979
Re: Marine waters
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 10:02:25 PM »
Don't get me started on aviation!

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44559
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Marine waters
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2013, 08:44:38 AM »
A discussion with our PICYA (Pacific Inter-club Yachting Association) Delegate resulted in a call to RBOC (Recreational Boaters Of California), with the following response:

RBOC responded back saying they oppose AB 2443 and are challenging it.  At this time according to the bill "Marine" waters end @ Suisun Bay.  RBOC contends that this is confusing and therefore challenging the bill.

Glad to see I wasn't the only one confused.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Sloop

  • ---
  • Posts: 264
Re: Marine waters
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2013, 10:12:32 AM »
Tom,
I think the issue is if you are in the tidal zone you still have the opportunity to go up river which means you could "possibly" transport the zebra mussel and the surcharge is aimed at people with that opportunity.  If they will solely use the funds for the eradication effort it is probably money well spent but, living in California, you know how often they try and raid the boating fund for other uses. If nothing else look at it this way.  You are donating $24 a year to help contain a growing problem.  I still think, compared to motor vehicle registration fees in California, the boat registration fee is a real bargain. Of course my boat is slipped in the ocean and I am exempt so my opinion is probably swayed.  ;D
1992 24' Fleetwood Class "C" Jamboree Rallye
Ford E350 Chassis
Toad - 1969 Volkswagen Baja Bug
San Marcos, CA

PancakeBill

  • ---
  • Posts: 5037
  • Bill & Jolene/USA 97 Southwind 35P
    • WorKamping in Yellowstone
Re: Marine waters
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2013, 10:22:13 AM »
See, CA is a premium zone so the extra taxes are all justified.  I am guessing that the folks in the zone they are taxing is the majority of CA boaters.

I reside in WY, but go to ID often with my canoe or kayak, so must stop at the boat check.  Staffed by volunteers, they check for the hull cleanliness, ask where the last water the boat was, (typically ID, cuz that is where we usually go), punch into a little handheld device and send me on my way.  I am sure their job is a little tougher with outdrives and such, because then they really have something to inspect.

Having had a sailboat in salt water, back in RI, and living on a bay, I do understand the issue with invasive species. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44559
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Marine waters
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2013, 10:23:30 AM »
Quote
I think the issue is if you are in the tidal zone you still have the opportunity to go up river which means you could "possibly" transport the zebra mussel and the surcharge is aimed at people with that opportunity.

No disagreement, but that also applies to folks berthed in San Francisco Bay and other areas deemed exempt.

I'm not objecting to paying the fee, although I have to pay it three times (four times if I include our daughter's PQC PWC behind the house), but there needs to be some commonsense & consistent definition of "marine waters". I was actually writing the check when I decided to call DMV and ask for clarification.

Quote
You are donating $24 a year to help contain a growing problem.

$48 for me and another $16 for our daughter, so I'm paying $64.

Quote
... compared to motor vehicle registration fees in California, the boat registration fee is a real bargain.

Agreed. But our documented vessel, berthed alongside the others, is not subject to the additional fee  ;)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 06:20:43 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

bucks2

  • Guest
Re: Marine waters
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 12:42:27 PM »
You guys are breaking my heart here. WA state just charges a half of one percent of whatever they think the value is. So if you have a $100,000 boat you only pay $500 per year for the privledge of having it in the state, plus the computer system surcharge, the agent surcharge, the basic fee, the wildlife tax and the filing fee. If you happen to have a gasoline powered boat, you still pay the road tax on all gasoline purchased (WA is 2nd highest in the nation) and if you save your reciept, the reciept is properly filled out, and you send it in at just the right time you can get almost half of the excess tax back. The other half goes to the slush fund which is regularly raided for road type uses instead of the stated marine projects.

If your boat is only worth $500 then you only pay the computer system surcharge, the agent surcharge, the basic fee, the wildlife tax and the filing fee along with the 1/2%. All registration fees are due annually, and no reminders are sent. And yes, documented boats pay exactly the same fees. IIRC they word them as registration fees not licensing fees which would exempt documented boats.

Ken

 

Hosted by Over The Network