At the request of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at University of Maryland undertook an analysis of the Vessel Excise Tax (VET) and its impact through the Waterways Improvement Fund (WIF). The VET is an important funding stream for maintaining and enhancing Maryland’s waterways. Since 2007, the VET has served as the primary source of revenue for the Waterways Improvement Fund (WIF).
Administered by DNR, the WIF is dedicated to financing projects that promote, develop and maintain waterways for the benefit of the general boating public through infrastructure and access improvements and promoting awareness among commercial and recreational waterway users. Example of funded works include: marking channels and harbors; clearing debris and obstructions from navigable waters; dredging; constructing, maintaining, and renovating new and existing marine facilities for public use such as boat ramps, piers and parking; and public works to support water quality improvements, such as marine sewage pump-out stations and shoreline erosion control projects.
This report has two main sections. The first section details the trends of VET revenue over time. It focuses on updating information for FY15, describing how the level and value of new registrations relate to VET collections. The second section provides a snapshot of how the State supports boating resources and activities through WIF grants.