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Proposed Md. boat registration increase scaled back

March 13, 2012

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources is scaling back proposed increases in boat-registration fees.

Department officials said the changes were made after meeting with boaters and others who would be affected.

Boat registration currently costs $24 every two years.

The DNR will now propose fees ranging from $25 for boats under 16 feet up to $300 for boats more than 65 feet long, officials said.

A bill before state lawmakers originally called for fees ranging from $50 to $700.

Registration fees have not increased since 1983, DNR officials said. And revenues from a tax on boat sales, the major source for a fund used to maintain waterways, have dropped along with declining boat sales. 

Agency officials said that has left the DNR able to fund only 11 percent of requests for fiscal 2012.

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