While the Ohio Division of Watercraft spending authority is proposed to decline by 9.1 percent for Fiscal 2012 and another 2.5 percent in Fiscal 2013, the agency still is financially healthy, said an agency spokesman.
It just cannot spend all that it collects in the form of boat registration fees, titling fees, and that portion of the state motor fuel tax as it applies to recreational boating.
No General Revenue Funds are used to support this agency that maintains its operations.
Left unaffected are boating safety education grants and marine patrol assistance grants and aid-to-navigation grants.
Reduced is the agency's Waterways Safety Grant, a poorly worded and little-used line item that impacts just one entity; the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.
The District will continue to get as reimbursement money for any unsold boat registrations prior to 1960. This was a grandfathered clause in Ohio law and is being reduced in future budget proposals.
Division officials continue to explore the budget's fine print to see if there are any other impacts.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn