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Senate agrees to hike boat fees for dredging costs

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Boat owners across North Carolina would face higher fees to pay for coastal dredging projects thanks to legislation that received a preliminary OK from the state Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown of Jacksonville says the measure attempts to address dwindling federal funds for removing sand from shallow navigational channels. It passed 35-13 Thursday.

The bill would raise titling fees and vessel numbering fees for most watercraft and large boats. The current $15 annual numbering fee, for example, would increase to $25 or $50, depending on the vessel’s length. The titling fee would be $30, up from $20.

Millions of dollars in proceeds would enter a special fund to provide matching money for dredging projects.

A final Senate vote is expected next week before the bill goes to the House.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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