Boating Industry

April 2016

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April 2016 | Boating Industry | 21 MONTHLY RESEARCH Tax policy was also a top concern, with 48 percent saying they were very concerned about it, and 94 percent being at least somewhat con- cerned. Seventeen percent said it was the most important issue to their business. Water access rounded out the top four, with 14 percent citing it as the top issue. Forty-four percent said they were very concerned about it, while 91 percent said they were at least some- what concerned. No other issue was a top concern for more than 10 percent of respondents (see the full list above). Affecting policy Realizing the effect these regulations can have on their businesses, many in the industry are making an effort to have their voices heard. More than three-quarters of respondents said they have taken some sort of action in an attempt to affect public policy. Most notably, 56 percent have contacted an elected official to ex- press their opinion on an issue, and 39 percent have met in person with an elected representa- tive about policy issues. Nearly half of readers said they have re- sponded to a "call to action" from a trade as- sociation such as NMMA, MRAA or ASA to forward their opinions on to elected or regula- tory officials. Nineteen percent reported that they have attended a state legislative conference or meet- ing to learn more about issues impacting their business, and 9 percent have attended American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C. Finally, 11 percent have financially supported BoatPAC, the political action committee of NMMA and MRAA, and 6 percent have signed up for Boating United, the industry's grassroots lobbying effort. HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU ABOUT THESE ISSUES? WHAT ACTIONS HAVE YOU TAKEN TO TRY TO AFFECT PUBLIC POLICY? TOP ISSUES BY YEAR PERCENT WHO SAID ISSUE WAS MOST IMPORTANT TO THEIR BUSINESS VERY SOMEWHAT NOT AT ALL Ethanol/RFS 60% 35% 5% Tax policy 48% 46% 6% Water access 44% 47% 9% Environmental regulations 43% 55% 2% Fisheries management 31% 60% 9% Emission standards 30% 64% 6% Local zoning issues 30% 62% 8% Invasive species 27% 65% 8% Trade/export 19% 65% 16% Source: Boating Industry survey, February 2016 2014 2015 2016 Ethanol/RFS 19% 30% 28% Water access 9% 15% 14% Tax policy 20% 14% 17% Environmental regulations 14% 13% 18% Emission standards 4% 6% 5% Local zoning issues 4% 4% 3% Fisheries management 6% 4% 7% Trade/export NA 3% 5% Invasive species 4% 2% 3% Sources: Boating Industry surveys, February 2014, February 2015 and February 2016 TOP GOVERNMENT CONCERNS We also asked readers about their greatest concerns about government regulations and how those were affecting their business. Here is some of what they had to say: "Two words: Obama care. No one understands it." "Ethanol and E85 can easily destroy a $10,000-plus engine, causing excessive costs to boating." "Overly excessive engineering requirements during the permitting process for marina improvements." "We seem powerless and have to expend too much energy and time fighting issues. There's no time to produce … just putting out fires." "Ridiculous environmental regulations regarding fisheries." "Tax policy that burdens the business owner and does not allow for growth." Contacted elected representative 56% Responded to "call to action" from trade association 46% Met in person with elected representative 39% Attended state legislative conference 19% Made contribution to BoatPAC 11% Attended American Boating Congress 9% Signed up for Boating United 6% Other 7% None 22% Source: Boating Industry survey, February 2016

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