New Bill Will Help to Ensure Taxes Paid by Boaters Fund Boating Programs


The Sport Fish Restoration Program was created in 1950 and ensures that excise taxes paid on boat motors, motorboat fuel and fishing equipment goes to fund boating access sites, fishery and conservation programs, as well as state and local boating safety and clean water programs. However, with the recent popularization of non-motorized marine vessels, like stand-up paddleboards and kayaks, there’s been a question about who is responsible for those access sites and programs.

A piece of legislation — called the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2019 — has been introduced, which would extend the the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund to 2024. This new legislation would give the Government Accountability Office an opportunity to look at the use of non-motorized vessels and their impacts on recreational boat launches, as well as look at how funds are used to support non-motorized boating safety programs. It will also look at boat recycling — a concern for some waterfront communities.

“Any way you can get on the water is a good thing,” says BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “However, we can’t ignore the continued, successful growth of paddling participation in America and the need to have equitable funding for access and safety programs. Our thanks to Reps. [Joe] Cunningham [D-SC] and [Rep. Garret] Graves [R-LA] for looking to better understand today’s waterway user and ensure everyone is investing in their future.”

To learn more about the bill, visit

South Shore JUN17