sticker.aloneIf you are opposed to paying for a sticker on your kayak to fight the Quagga Mussel now is the time to act. No one disagrees that the Quagga Mussel is a terrible thing. We are all together in the fight to keep all invasive species out of Idaho. The point of contention is the means and targeting of the Quagga Sticker Tax.

The sticker and the invasive species act in Idaho was an ill conceived program from the start. Ramrodded as an emergency measure in 2008 by Rep. Eric Anderson of Sandpoint the act, now entering year two, is starting to sink. It never really floated from the start:
  • No enforcement.
  • No vendors.
  • No education,
  • No one wants to sell them.
  • Not enough stickers.
Like any government program, Anderson simply wants to throw more money, your money, at the unworkable program. The new increase in fees flew through committee and is up for vote soon in the Idaho House.
  • non motorized: (kayaks) up to $7 from $5corruption
  • motorized: stays at $10 (Wait a minute!!! What happened to fair and equal?)
  • out of state: $22 up from $20
Once again, kayaks, rafts and canoes are being singled out -- non-motorized boaters are being hit with the increase. Why aren't the motorized fees going up?

The ringer is that the increase in fees will not go into the fight against the Quagga Mussel. It will go into the sticker vendor's pocket.

There are some viable alternatives circulating around Idaho Statehouse. One idea is to revamp the program alongredherrings the lines of the well thought-out and functioning program passed last year in Oregon (very adept at taxing). The Oregon Program taxes the boater and not the boat. It is similar to a fishing license. Makes sense -- Imagine trying to tax every fishing rod? Don't get any ideas. It would be impossible to enforce. No one would like it. Sound familiar?

Act now. Email or phone you state Senator and Representative. It's easy. There is a form on the website.

For those of you with political ambitions, here it is in three, I mean, four easy steps:
  1. Click here and go to the Idaho Legislature Contact Form
  2. Find your district and Rep. Ada county district map
  3. Fill in your details
  4. Write a message along these lines -- or whatever you like.
Please vote against HO 533 or the Invasive Species Act. The present program doesn't work and throwing more money at it won't help. I am against invasive species in Idaho, but I don't want to see my money being wasted on overhead and government bloat. We need a program in Idaho that works. There are other ideas that would work and Idahoans would support.

The present invasive species act and this fee increase are not working and will not work. Myself and the people of Idaho, while not opposed to fighting invasive species, are opposed to a government program that is ineffective and wasteful. The increase proposed in this bill would go to administration and not do a thing for preventing invasive species in Idaho. We want to see our tax dollars work against the
quagga mussel and not be wasted on administration, bureaucrats and an ill conceived system.

Finally the proposed fee increases are not fair and equal. They single out a particular group of Idahoans. On every level HO 533 is not the kind of legislation that Idaho needs. Thank you for your time.

Associated Press BOISE
A House panel backed increasing fees for invasive-species stickers on rafters, kayakers and out-of-state boaters, over objections from non-motorized boaters. The Resources Committee voted Tuesday to hike fees for non-motorized boats to $7, from $5, and to $22 for out-of-state boaters, from $20. For motorized boats from Idaho, fees would remain $10.

The revenue funds a state program to keep invasive species like quagga mussels out of Idaho, but this fee hike would go to pay some 300 private vendors offering the stickers for sale. But the Idaho Whitewater Association's Howard Miller told the panel he's seen no evidence mussels attach themselves to rubber rafts or kayaks.