Advocacy February 16, 2016
MIASF advocates on behalf of a variety of issues that affect our industry, including the creation of a free trade zone, the sales tax cap on boat refits and repairs, dredging and All Aboard Florida.
In June 2015, the state passed a $60,000 sales tax cap for boat repairs and refits that MIASF had been advocating for. The tax cap, which took effect July 1, 2015, is expected to generate significant revenue and jobs for the industry.
Permits have been issued and bidding has begun on the dredging of the Intracoastal from 17th Street to Sunrise Boulevard to 17 feet deep, allowing the vessels that patronize our waterways to have better access to the local marinas and boatyards. Port Everglades is preparing to dredge to 40 feet, and plans are in the works to dredge the New River, which will bring it to 13 feet deep. And a new report on the economic impact of the dredging of the Dania Cutoff Canal to 17 feet deep showed that boatyards’ revenues have increased 59% post the dredge and the county has received an additional $23.4 million economic benefit.
MIASF is working to promote a win-win solution to the FEC New River rail bridge issue to assure that All Aboard Florida and increased rail freight traffic won’t negatively impact our industry. We are collaborating with the U.S. Coast Guard to establish a standard operating procedure for the New River rail bridge and placement of a 24/7 bridgetender at the bridge. Under current use, the bridge is closed for an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes in every 12-hour period.