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Boat tax would sink marine industry

There is little doubt in my mind that the O'Malley administration is behind this latest proposal to raise fees on the citizens of Maryland ("Bill would drastically raise state boat registration fee," Feb. 17). I guess everyone forgot about Gov.Martin O'Malley's campaign commercials where he tauntsRobert L. Ehrlich Jr.with "a fee is a tax" mantra.

Make no mistake, you increase a boat registration fee from $24 to $125 (or more depending on the size of your vessel), on top of the increase in fuel cost from the governor's proposed sales tax, and a lot of boats will get sold, and new ones will sit in the showroom unsold. Sales staff will lose jobs, marine mechanics will lose jobs, marina staff will lose jobs, and a very important segment of Maryland's economy will take another hit.

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My boat will be sold. That means the marina, which already has a lot of empty slips, will lose out on $4,000 or more in revenue from just me alone. The Democrats are creating such a smoke screen about how the wealthy are the problem with the economy and the Republicans are just out to help the wealthy stay wealthy. It is time for the people of this state to wake up. Everything this administration has done economically has been a direct blow to the people who can afford it the least.

Michael A. Carper, Fallston

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