Page 16 - Mid America Boating - July 2021 issue
P. 16

]     16  The Boating Associations

             of Ohio marks 35 years
     JULY 2021     [     MID-AMERICA BOATING
             of advocacy

        To many Ohio boaters, the Boating Associations of Ohio (BAO) may not be a household  funds to build more pump-out stations; successfully advo-
      name. To the boating industry, it’s iconic as it marks 35 years of being the statewide voice of all  cated for federal Boating Infrastructure grants to build new
      boating in the buckeye state and is supported by businesses and individual boatowners alike.  transient docks; worked directly with lawmakers to official-
        BAO has one mission: to advocate for the best interests of the entire Ohio boating commu-  ly designate June as “Ohio Goes Boating” month (the only
      nity, from Lake Erie on the north to the mighty Ohio River on the south. Officially chartered the  state in the nation with the designation); and continuous
      non-profit Boat Ohio Foundation dba Boating Associations of Ohio, it advances measures that  monitors the Waterways Safety Fund expenditures which is
      protect the health and viability of the state’s abundant lakes and rivers and is the voice for  totally funded with boater’s money; among many other
      Ohio’s half-million boat-owning families that recreate on our waterways.    achievements.
        The accomplishments for BAO over the years are impressive, albeit many do not gain media  While boat dealers, marinas owners and related service busi-
      attention or notoriety. Retaining a full-time lobbying team in Columbus, BAO reviews every  nesses provide the majority of BAO funding, hundreds of boat
      proposed legislation or any regulatory actions that could negatively impact boater owners or  owners are also annual members and all boaters are encouraged to join
      the industry.                                                               for just $50 annual dues.  Become a BAO member and lend to the conversations that will cre-
        “It’s as much about making sure bad proposals never see the light of day as it is gaining  ate a better boating tomorrow. Your membership support makes possible BAO’s advocacy of
      favorable outcomes for boating,” explains Michelle Burke, BAO’s executive director. “You don’t  numerous environmental and legislative issues that impact boating in Ohio. In return, more
      read about things that don’t happen even though we’re very successful is that arena.”  than 30 marine businesses offer all individual boater members discounts on a wide variety of
        Burke cites as an example, BAO’s successfully defending against multiple attempts to repeal  products and services. To learn more, join and review the benefits, simple go to:
      the trade-in tax credit on boat purchases, a proposal that would result in a sales tax increase
      for all boaters. “We worked hard to gain that appropriate tax benefit for boaters who were actu-  Finally, BOATPAC is Ohio boating’s Political Action Committee. Active year around, funds
      ally being double taxed, and we’re not about to see it taken away, period!” she emphasizes.   are used to contribute to the election or reelection of state office candidates with a proven
        Defense is one thing, offense even better. Going after boater benefits is also a mainstay of  record of supporting issues that improve and advance family boating in our state.
      BAO’s function. And, it has a long record of such success. A few examples include: BAO gained  Boaters can support BOATPAC by making an individual donation anytime. Just send a per-
      a major increase in the share of Ohio’s gasoline tax for the Waterways Safety Fund to be used  sonal check in any amount you are led to give, payable to BOATPAC. Mail it to: BOATPAC, 1269
      for facilities development and education; aggressively lobbied for federal Clean Vessel Act  Bassett Road, Westlake, OH  44145. MAB

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