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Discussion Starter #1
CCA Opposes Unfair Recreational License Fee Increases

Coastal Conservation Association Virginia has reviewed the Governor's VMRC budget proposal. We object to the blatant unfairness of the proposal and cannot support it. This budget proposal raises $1,100,000 from increased recreational fees while only tapping the commercial fishermen for a paltry $80,000. Recreational fees are proposed at $12.50 per individual license and $50.00 for a boat license, generating over a million dollars in "new" money, a 66% increase. Commercial fees are only going up 16%! This is clearly unfair!

The planned increases are especially unfair because commercial fishermen catch 82% of seafood landed in Virginia, yet commercial fishermen's license fees only generate 25% of the amount recreational anglers pay in license fees. These monies go into dedicated funds and are used for improvements, enforcement, education, research, and management; but the commercial sector is only paying for their own catch reporting system, contributing almost nothing to the other needs. This existing disparity will only be amplified by implementing the Governor's lopsided fee increases.

We understand the Governor's need to fund VMRC during these lean times. We challenge his staff to resolve the inequity between commercial and recreational revenues. CCA Virginia is willing to work with the administration towards a balanced solution that will solve the immediate problem and set the stage for long-term equity in VMRC funding by the respective user groups.

We urge Virginia's 500,000 recreational fishermen and other concerned parties to contact their legislators and object to this unfair fee (tax?) increase. The easiest way to be heard is to call 800-889-0229 (698-1990 in Richmond). Just say you are opposed to the Governor's proposed increase in recreational saltwater fishing license fees because they unfairly tax you and will just subsidize the commercial fishermen even more, at your expense.

CCA will post updates on this issue on the CCA web site at www.ccavirginia.org beginning January 11, 2003. Also watch your mailbox for a postcard asking for your help in putting a stop to implementation of this unfair proposal.

Please share this email message with your circle of contacts and ask them to call the 800 number; adding their voice to our message. We can just complain or invest a few minutes to make something constructive happen. Let's make something happen!
 

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Tom made the call , all I got was a recording made by a delicate sounding gentleman(?).His remark was to call during the time that assembly was in sesson, which was 01/09-03/09 2002. I guess they're getting ready for this years assembly, soooo I'll keep trying.D#mn Com. Guys!!!
 

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The General Assembly session starts Wed. Jan. 8. The phone line should be open then. Call SOON. Tell your friends have them call.

Tom
 

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I second Digger's words of appreciation. It's a nice surprise to have your concerns for the recreational bubbas on our side! Thank you again!
 

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The phone # is up and running now- I just called- It took all of one minute- Just say you are calling to oppose the proposed fishing license increase and the woman takes your name and address. Thanks for the info Tom.
 

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Tom, made the call and got to talk to a nice laddy that took all the info. She also agreed w/ the opinoins of us rec. fishing guys, hope she's "connected".Felt good to be one of the counted, thanks again.
 
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