Re: California may TAX scuba diving

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Posted by the future is coming on September 24, 2005 at 21:21:03:

In Reply to: Re: Australia may TAX scuba diving posted by Dave on September 24, 2005 at 01:57:50:

The State of California is considering establishing an annual license for scuba divers similar to that required by recreational fishers utilizing the same waters off the California coastal shores and islands.

Dr. Robert Height, Executive Director of California’s Department of Fish and Game, today said the scheme would involve the creation of an independent scuba diving council, made up of industry members, who would allocate license revenues to programs for the building and future improvement of amenities for divers up and down the California coast.

Dr. Height said the council could also direct investment of revenues towards programs to protect the habitat areas of the marginally endangered Giant Black Sea Bass, which has continued to make a comeback this past decade.

"The state government was previously considering introducing a fee to dive in these areas but the new mandatory license system will be much simpler and more fair – instead of paying a fee for each dive along the California costal and off shore islands, divers will now be required to pay an annual licensing fee.

With the enforcement of the new program being paramount to the department, an increase of wardens in the field will enforce the new license requirement. Fines collected from the ticketing of non-licensed divers caught diving off California will easily offset the additional enforcement costs 5 to 1," Dr. Height said.

He said he had recently met senior diving industry representatives Ken Kurtis, Jim Hoffman, Elaine Jobin and Andy Lee who expressed support for the proposal.

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