July 29, 2005

BOATING AND FISHING BENEFIT INCLUDED IN TRANSPORTATION BILL

Crapo championed funding for fish conservation and boating

Washington, DC â??A provision to divert a tax on motorboat and small engine fuels to the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund for programs to directly benefit outdoor users was championed by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, Co-chairman of the Congressional Sportsmenâ??s Caucus, in the Transportation bill passed today.Funded by a Federal manufacturersâ?? excise tax on fishing equipment and a percentage of the Federal fuel tax on motorboats and small engines, the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund has directly provided states with the ability to improve recreational boating and fishing, promote conservation and boating safety education, protect the environment and conserve wetlands. The excise tax is currently being diverted to the general Treasury fund, but will now go to the Fund for its intended purpose, to enhance and sustain future conservation and safety programs. The 4.8 percent excise tax provides more than $100 million annually to support these programs.Crapo led a bipartisan letter to Transportation Bill conferees, signed by 24 other Senators urging the inclusion of this provision. â??Directing this money to the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund will restore important conservation and boating safety programs,â?? Crapo said. â??I am committed to sustaining these programs for the recreation that millions of Americans enjoy. â??Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus members have been true champions for fishing and boating and we appreciate their leadership on this issue,â?? commented Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation President, Jeff Crane. â??Support for this initiative on the floors of both chambers lead by Caucus leaders such as Senator Crapo clearly shows the value of having a network of sportsmen in Congress like the Congressional Sportsmenâ??s Caucus and sportsmenâ??s coalitions such as the American League of Anglers and Boaters.â??The Transportation bill was passed by the Senate by a vote of 91-4 and will now go to the President for final signature into law.