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Boaters Speak Out Against Proposed Fee Hikes

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The head of the Magothy River Association says a proposed increase in registration fees could lead some to sell.

Paul Spadaro of Severna Park, who owns three boats ranging from 19 to 36 feet, says he would sell two if the increase passes. Fewer boats, he says, would be bad for businesses that serve boat owners.

Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, told The Baltimore Sun that many commercial fishermen have more than one boat and are already dealing with a bad economy.

Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources says it is seeking the increase because current fees are falling short of paying for existing programs. Boaters who currently pay $24 every two years would pay between $50 and $700 depending on the size of their boats.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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