House Coast Guard Authorization Bill Re-establishes Local Government Taxing Authority on Navigable Waters. Senate Bill Does Not Include the Provision.
H.R. 3619, The Coast Guard Authorization bill, passed by the House of Representatives in late October, includes a provision allowing multiple state and local authorities to levy “sales taxes” on goods and services on federally navigable waters. However, the Senate version does not include the language. In many states, the taxing authority in the House bill would be broadly interpreted to include amusement and similar taxes. International vessels, such as cruise ships, are exempted. Sec. 301 of H.R. 3619 amends the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1884. According to our sources, the language was requested by Rep. Don Young (R-AK), although he did not vote on the bill.
The good news is that the House bill will not likely be approved by the Senate. S. 1194 in the Senate has already been marked up by the Coast Guard subcommittee. If the Senate bill passes, a conference committee made up of members of the House and Senate will have to negotiate the differences between the two bills unless the House adopts the Senate bill without changes.
AOA is working on this issue in an effort to keep this taxing authority out of the final Coast Guard Authorization bill.
Economic News Turns Positive – U.S. Manufacturing in a “sustainable recovery mode”.
The Institute for Supply Management reported today that “economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October for the third consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the sixth consecutive month” in their Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The report issued by Norbert J. Ore, chair of the Institute’s Business Survey Committee, states “Overall, it appears that inventories are balanced and that manufacturing is in a sustainable recovery mode." The Manufacturing index saw its highest jump since April 2006. To read the full report go to http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm
Recovery in the travel industry is expected to lag recovery in manufacturing, but a sustained recovery in the stock market will help demand for longer trips. An expert in the ski industry recently told AOA that their industry’s performance also tracks with the stock market.
On a less cheerful note, bank failures continue to mount as losses from commercial real estate take hold. FDIC insurance for deposits up to $250,000 per depositor remains in effect through December 31, 2013 for FDIC insured accounts. The FDIC maintains a watch list of troubled banks but does not publish the list. You can check on the health of your bank at http://www.bankrate.com/rates/safe-sound/bank-ratings-search.aspx
Federal Land Managing Agencies Get 17% Increases in FY 2010 Interior Appropriations Bill.
The Interior Appropriations bill was rushed through Congress and signed by the President on October 30th. The bill increases the budget for federal land managing agencies by $4.6 billion for FY 2010. These funds are on top of the $10.95 billion already approved in the economic stimulus bill earlier this year.
NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM: FY 2010 $1.551 billion compared to FY 2009, $1.510 billion.
NATIONAL FORESTS RECREATION: FY 2010 $292.6 million compared to FY 2009, $277.6 million.
FOREST TRAILS: Expected to be about $85 million for 2010 compared to FY 2009, $81.2 million.
WILDLIFE REFUGE MANAGEMENT: FY 2010 $503.3 million compared to fiscal 2009, $468 million.
NPS got a huge $218 million increase for FY 2010.
Risk Management Programs to Explore Gaps in Coverage and Causes of Claims.
An expert in insurance forms will offer an overview of potential gaps in coverage. How you can determine if your activities are covered by your policy? You'll learn during programming at the America Outdoors Association conference December 8 – 10.
In another program Tracey Knutson will review the lessons learned from reviewing critical events in the progression from an “incident” to a claim to an award. From recent lawsuits, Tracey will give riveting illustrations of these critical points so you’ll know which behaviors or actions generate lawsuits and formal claims and how you can avoid them. She’ll reveal operator and managing agency practices that make it difficult to defend claims and how these practices/issues are affecting the recreation industry and the increasingly fragile insurance markets upon which you rely.
Read Ron Jones' Column on Facebook 101 on Search Engine Watch.
Ron will be speaking on Advanced SEO and other topics at the AOA conference.