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Every year, there are numerous legislative and regulatory issues that our legislature must act upon that can affect the boating industry. This year will be no different. This year alone, there are no fewer than 10 issues that could have a drastic impact on how marine retailers run their businesses. It is shaping up to be a critical year for the marine industry.

Consider the impact that a move toward higher ethanol levels could have on marine engines. Or how boat sales could be negatively affected by a change to the corporate average fuel economy standards on common tow vehicles. Or how the boating lifestyle could be impacted if mandatory adult life jacket requirements were enacted.

These are but a few examples of the critical issues that the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is working on this year. Take a look at the list of active legislative issues the MRAA is currently addressing:

  • Changes to Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards on SUVs and pick up trucks
  • Ethanol standards, such as the E10 and E15 proposals from the Environmental Protection Agency
  • The mandatory education of boat operators, as proposed by the U.S. Coast Guard
  • Mandatory adult life jacket requirements proposed by the federal government
  • Life jacket and other boating safety issues addressed by the National Transportation Safety Board
  • Laws allowing a tax deduction for primary and secondary home mortgage interest
  • Maintenance of vital funding from Sport Fish Restoration and the Boating Safety Trust Fund
  • The Water Resources Development Act
  • Tax incentives, such as sales tax deductions, permanent repeal of the estate tax and boating safety equipment for the boating industry; and
  • Dredging issues for small boat harbors and channels

MRAA has long represented such interests and concerns of marine retailers to other trade associations the many agencies and departments of the U.S. government and the U.S. Congress. We believe interaction with these groups is vital to the well being of marine retailing.

But these are just a few of the issues our industry will face this year, and we can’t attack them all alone. We need your support to have an impact. We need a stronger, louder voice, and that means WE NEED YOUR PATRONAGE.

Please join the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and help us represent you to the best of our ability in Washington, D.C., while you also take advantage of all the benefits available to you through membership.