MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Today, Senator Clay Scofield (R-Arab), Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) and Representative Margie Wilcox (R-Mobile) announced they plan to file legislation in the 2016 regular session to allow Alabama’s boat owners to purchase specialty boat license tags. Under the plan, if a specialty tag is already in production for automobiles, a similar specialty tag could be purchased for a boat.
“One of the greatest things we have in Alabama is our state parks,” Senator Dial said. “The recent General Fund budget again reduces funding for parks, so I have been looking for innovative ways to find additional funding to keep all of our state parks open. This plan doesn’t raise taxes, it’s just an opportunity for boat owners to purchase specialized tags, and a portion of the proceeds will go to state parks.”
There are over 280,000 boats registered in Alabama. Senator Dial estimates that if 13% of boat owners opt for a specialty tag (which is roughly the percentage of automobile owners opting for a specialty license), it could mean approximately $5 million annually to the state parks in additional revenue.
“Alabama’s state parks are a treasure, and I think this idea holds great potential to give an additional source of funds to the parks, without raising taxes,” Senator Scofield said. “Tough economic times have meant many state agencies have had to make cuts, but I think this is an innovative way to restore some badly-needed resources to the operation and upkeep of our parks. I look forward to moving this proposal through the Senate in 2016.”
“Our plan is to introduce companion bills in the House and Senate on day one of the 2016 session and I expect they will move quickly through the legislative process,” Rep. Wilcox remarked. “As a resident of Mobile County, I can tell you many boat owners would be excited to purchase specialty tags, if they were available, so I think this can generate a good bit of money for our parks.”
Clay Scofield is a third generation farmer and represents District 9 in the Alabama Senate, which is comprised of all or parts of Marshall, Madison, Blount, and DeKalb counties. He is Chairman of the Confirmations Committee in the Alabama Senate.
Gerald Dial represents District 13 in the Alabama Senate, which includes all or parts of Randolph, Lee, Cleburne, Clay, Cherokee, and Chambers counties. He serves as Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. Gerald and his wife Faye reside in Lineville.