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PostSubject: POLITICAL payment   Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:28 pm

Fishing Alliance
Contact: Jim Hutchinson, Jr. / 888-564-6732 * ACTION ALERT *
11/29/2010


** RFA-NJ ACTION ALERT - ANGLERS URGED TO SUPPORT S1122**
Time Is Running Out For NJ Coastal Fishermen

November 29, 2010 - Starting January 1, saltwater fishermen in New Jersey will be required to pay $15 to the federal government in order to fish upon state coastal waters. To avoid the fee, New Jersey need only pass Senate Bill number S1122 which is now resting in the Senate Environment Committee chaired by Piscataway Democrat Senator Robert Smith. An Assembly version (A823) has already passed (54-16) which would allow the state to apply for "exempted state designation from the federal registration requirements" and would require the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to maintain a free annual registry program to meet the new federal mandate for data collection.


Surfcasters, boaters, tackle shops, party and charter boat captains, marina owners, and livery operators up and down the Jersey Shore have openly supported S1122, and the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and our allies in the coastal community have spent three years pushing to get this registry legislation passed on their behalf. In recent months, we've met with a number of legislators including both Senators and Assembly representatives, and have found there's overwhelming support in Trenton to get S1122 out of committee; RFA has even heard from the Governor's own staff on their commitment to fulfilling a campaign pledge to not implement any new taxes on New Jersey residents, which is precisely what a fee to fish will be.


Sen. Robert Smith, however, refuses to move S1122 for a committee vote unless the DEP supports the legislation - which they don't because it doesn't have a bloated user fee attached. The democratic process in New Jersey is essentially being held up by Trenton bureaucrats who want anglers to pay the annual $15 fee to fish starting in 2011, perhaps in hopes we'll be more willing to pay a state fishing tax in the future once we've gotten the foul taste of a federal charge. If S1122 doesn't move out of committee where it can get a full Senate vote before the year is out, saltwater anglers in New Jersey will be forced to pay this federal tax on saltwater fishing starting January 1.


Despite protests within the committee itself - from across both sides of the political aisle - Chairman Smith refuses to move this legislation. Regrettably, this is our political process today, and there seems to be very little we can do to fix the issue of elected leadership answering to an appointed bureaucracy instead of the will of the people. Legislators often make promises to clear the road blocks created by bureaucrats, but at the end of the day the process is still broken.


You'll hear plenty of bureaucratic rhetoric about this saltwater registry legislation being an "unfunded mandate." However, as the facts clearly show, a 'no-cost' saltwater registry has already been paid in full by the resident and non-resident saltwater anglers of New Jersey.


Fact 1: US Fish & Wildlife estimates there are 496,000 resident and non-resident saltwater anglers in the state of New Jersey.


Fact 2: DEP testified that the current mechanism for registering hunters and anglers can be used for the saltwater registry and would cost the state $1.01 per entry.


Fact 3: Combine Fact 1 and Fact 2 and the estimated maximum cost to implement a no-fee saltwater registry would total $500,960.


Fact 4: As of late November, 182,067 New Jersey residents registered federally to fish coastal waters in 2010 - another 63,026 from Pennsylvania - a total of 245,093 registered saltwater New Jersey anglers.


Fact 5: Combine Fact 2 and Fact 4 and the estimated 2010 cost of implementing a no-cost registry in New Jersey would've totaled $247,544.


Fact 6: A 2006 US Fish & Wildlife survey ranked New Jersey 5th in the nation amongst coastal states in terms of overall saltwater retail sales with an estimated $643.6 million spent on saltwater tackle.


Fact 7: Based on a 7% sales tax, saltwater tackle sales contribute over $45 million in state tax revenue.


Fact 8: A 10% federal excise tax on all fishing equipment means New Jersey's saltwater anglers contributed $65 million in federal taxes to the federal Sport Fish Restoration Fund.


Fact 9: For fiscal year 2010, New Jersey was entitled to receive $3.8 million back in federal Sport Fish Restoration Funds.


Fact 10: New Jersey will continue receiving at least 1% of the total apportioned amount of Sport Fish Restoration Funds (maximum allowed is 5%) regardless of whether there's a fee to fish state coastal waters or not.


RFA has been very outspoken about getting this registry legislation passed - if some of the other groups in New Jersey had helped do some of the heavy lifting (instead of sitting on top of the boulder that's sitting directly in our path), maybe we wouldn't be facing down the barrel of a loaded shotgun right about now. Everybody's got ideas and opinions - what New Jersey anglers need now is action!

The fact of the matter is, there's only one available option at this time which would help saltwater anglers in New Jersey avoid paying a federal saltwater user fee - there's only been one available option in play for the past 3+ years, and that's the saltwater registry legislation currently stuck in Senator Robert Smith's Senate Environment Committee in Trenton.


To find your local legislator, visit [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] - call your state senator today and urge him/her to have Sen. Smith convene his committee before time has run out on our saltwater angling community. There's still time for a committee hearing, and there's still time for New Jersey's Senate to match the actions of the Assembly in clearing this legislative hurdle, on behalf of our coastal fishermen.


Ask your state Senator to remind Sen. Smith that there's still time to post S1122 in committee - failure to do so will subject you as a constituent to a new $15 federal surcharge on fishing.


If Senator Robert Smith chooses to use his political muscle to suppress S1122 at the urging of the DEP, a half-million over-taxed voters will awaken on New Year's Day to a brand new saltwater user fee, avoidable today by a simple act of democratic process.



About Recreational Fishing Alliance
The Recreational Fishing Alliance is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation's saltwater fisheries. For more information, call 888-JOIN-RFA or visit [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]






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PostSubject: Re: POLITICAL payment   Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:45 pm

Once the feds get a taste of this money, we'll never get the fee reversed. Please pass this info on!


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PostSubject: Re: POLITICAL payment   Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:19 am

exactly,,first $15 , then before we know it $ 50,, speak up or shut up and pay!!!!!
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PostSubject: Committee vote on free registry coming up Thursday   Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:38 pm

Committee vote on free registry coming up Thursday

The State Senate Envronment Committee will take a vote Thursday on S1122, the bill that would provide a free saltwater angler registry in New Jersey. Unless this legislation, or a saltwater license bill (which hasn't even been proposed), is passed this month, most N.J. anglers will have to pay $15 to the federal Treasury as of Jan. 1, 2011 in order to be registered as required by law.

S1122 will provide a free saltwater fishing registry for NJ residents if passed. The JCAA, RFA and other groups are urging as many fishermen as possible to attend this hearing and show support for the bill. The public is allowed to testify. Senate Environment and Energy Thursday, December 09, 2010 - 10:00 AM Meeting - Committee Room 10, 3rd Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ

If you cannot attend, please contact the senators who are on the committee and request that they support the bill. Chairman- Bob Smith 732-752-0770, Robert Gordon 201-703-9779, Christopher Bateman 908-526-3600, James Beach 856-429-1572, Jennifer Beck 732-933-1591

Show up if you can, but please at least make a few calls.
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PostSubject: Re: POLITICAL payment   Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:22 am

Last chance for vote is today!
By RICHARD DEGENER Staff Writer pressofAtlanticCity.com

A state Senate committee will get its last chance Thursday to establish a saltwater fishing registry and thus avoid a federal fishing fee of $15 per angler starting Jan. 1.

The money at stake is as much as $7.4 million annually. The state has 496,000 anglers, and each would have to pay $15 to fish starting in 2011.

"It's going to go to the federal treasury. It's going to a black hole. It's not going to fisheries at all," said Jim Hutchinson, of the Galloway Township-based Recreational Fishing Alliance.

The RFA supports a state Senate bill to create a free state registry. The Senate Environment and Energy Committee will consider the bill at 10 a.m. today in Committee Room 10 at the Statehouse Annex in Trenton. The state Assembly already passed a version of the bill.

Even if the bill passes the full Senate and is signed into law, the state still would have to get approval from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, to accept a state registry in place of a federal registry. The NOAA has done so with other coastal states since its goal is not to generate revenue but to create a listing of anglers to get more information from them about what they are catching, said Forbes Darby, the NOAA's recreation fishing coordinator.

Darby said 22 of the 24 coastal states have received exemptions from the federal program. Only New Jersey, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are heading toward paying the $15 federal fee Jan. 1.

New Jersey anglers are united against paying fees to the federal government but mixed on how a state program should work. Some want a fee that would funnel money to fishery programs while others support a free registry, which is not really free.

"It came out in Senate testimony in 2009 that it would cost $1.01 to register each individual angler," Hutchinson said.

A free registry would therefore cost the state about $500,000 per year. Hutchinson argues such costs are more than covered by taxes anglers pay on fishing equipment.

The state could institute the federal fee and collect as much as $7.4 million in potential revenue, although it's unclear if the federal fee would raise that much because some anglers in New Jersey come from other states and may be registered in their home state.

There also are a number of federal exemptions. Darby said customers on party and charter boats that have federal permits need not register. Anglers younger than 16 and certain "indigenous persons" are exempt. Some states allow certain special-interest groups such as senior citizens or military veterans to fish without a license, so they would be exempt from registering. There also are exemptions for some commercial operations.

The registry also does not apply to all types of fishing in state waters, which run from the coast to three miles offshore. It applies only to anadromous fish such as striped bass, shad, salmon, river herring and other species that come inshore to spawn. It applies to all species outside three miles.

Contact Richard Degener:

609-463-6711

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PostSubject: NO Salt Water Registry Fee for 2011!!!   Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:44 pm

Van Drew stepped up and laid out the facts at today's hearing. NJ sees huge tax dollars from the salt water fishery. The vote to keep NJ free for another year passed unanimously with Sen Smith abstaining.

Thank you to everyone that took the time and initiative to speak up. Your voices have been heard!
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PostSubject: Re: POLITICAL payment   Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:49 pm

nice! now i won't have to spring you out of the pokey!
thanks for the update
Good Job
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PostSubject: Re: POLITICAL payment   Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:38 pm

FYI

December 20, 2010 - The New Jersey Senate today voted unanimously (36-0) in support of legislation requring the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish a free recreational saltwater registry to meet federal data collection requirements set by the Magnuson Stevens Act. The bill approved by the Senate (S1122) along with its companion bill (A823) approved by the Assembly on March 22, now needs only the signature of Governor Chris Christie in order to direct the DEP Commissioner to establish and implement a free state registry program for saltwater recreational anglers, modeled on the registry program established by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).



In order to fulfill federal exemption requirements, New Jersey would have to implement a similar program for collecting name and contact details of individuals who engage in recreational fishing in state coastal waters out to the Continental Shelf. New Jersey is the last coastal state in the Continental U.S. to address the federal registration requirement, with Maine having recently implemented a similar registration program there. With the Governor's signature, S1122/A823 would allow New Jersey to apply for "exempted state designation from the federal registration requirements" in time to meet new federal fee requirements set to take effect on January 1, 2011.
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PostSubject: Re: POLITICAL payment   Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:47 pm

ok... so NJ registration is free BUT where does a person have to go to perform said registration?

If you look at the NJDEP sites most of the information ic about 2009 or 2010. dig a litlle more and you are instructed to go to countmyfish.noaa.gov when i go there i'm informed that registration will cost me $15 for the year...

Oy! such a deal... WTF?????

now then... does anyone know if the National Registry is honored by the state of NY?
Jamacia Bay = NY state = NY license = $15.00

bueller? bueller??
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PostSubject: Re: POLITICAL payment   Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:14 pm

I know that in 2010 you didn't need to register in NJ if you were already counted by buying a license in another state. I was able to register myself and Christina for free at the site you listed last week. I don't know anything about the $15.00. Must be a mistake as the Senate is expected to officially adopt the free registry. You might want to wait a month or two Chal.

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