From The Capital:
The marine industry earned a win Monday when the General Assembly passed a bill to send more money to the Waterway Improvement Fund and cap the state’s vessel excise tax at $15,000.
The Senate voted 36-10 Monday to concur with and pass a House version of Senate Bill 90.
The bill would put 0.5 percent of cash from the motor fuel tax into the Waterway Improvement Fund, which funds dredging and other projects for the state’s waterways. It would also set in place a $15,000 vessel excise tax cap that would be revisited three years from now to see if it benefits the state.
In March, it seemed as though the tax cap part of the bill had been defeated. SB 90, sponsored by Sen. John C. Astle, D-Annapolis, was completely revamped in a Senate committee to eliminate a proposed $10,000 tax cap.
But after the extra cash was allotted for the Waterway Improvement Fund, House Speaker Michael E. Busch said he and others were able to convince the Department of Natural Resources to back away from its previous opposition to the tax cap.
The bill now heads to Gov. Martin O’Malley’s desk for a signature.
Read the full article here.