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Old 02-12-2012, 07:31 PM
jim putman's Avatar
jim putman jim putman is offline
Washington State Director
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: puyallup wa.
Posts: 1,527
Default NOVA lawsuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance ORV funds lawsuit will go before the Washington State Supreme Court.
Olympia, Washington – 13 February 2012
The Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (WOHVA) and Northwest Motorcycle Association (NMA) lawsuit against the State of Washington to block the transfer of over 9.5 million dollars in offroad vehicle funds from the Nonhighway and Offroad Vehicle Activities (NOVA) account to State Parks will advance to the Washington State Supreme Court. Attorney James Buchal will be representing both organizations.
In 2009 the Legislature passed House Bill 1244, which transferred the money out of the NOVA account. The NOVA account money comes from the gas tax paid by offroad vehicle users and the license tab fees on offroad vehicles (ORV).
According to the Washington State Constitution gas tax collected must be used only for roads. To comply with that the state allows refunds on gas tax paid for other uses.
In 1972 the offroad vehicle community supported passage of legislation that waived their right to a direct refund of the taxes they paid for ORV fuel in exchange for having those same funds “refunded” into a dedicated account to promote and protect their sport. Later on, their ORV license tab money was added to this account too. The NOVA program was established to administer these funds.
All the money went to State Parks where it was not spent on offroad vehicle recreation. This was not a legitimate refund for the benefit of these taxpayers.
The NOVA funding is normally distributed by the State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board in the form of grants. These grants are awarded to governmental agencies such as the United States Forest Service, the Washington Department of Natural Resources and various counties. It is the primary source of funding for offroad vehicle recreation and for law enforcement on public lands in Washington.
If this funding is not returned to benefit the taxpayers that paid for it, families and their children throughout the State of Washington will lose the healthy outdoor recreational opportunities they were promised and for which they paid their taxes and ORV tab fees, as the trails they have enjoyed together are closed. Additionally, public employees throughout Washington who maintain and patrol those trails will lose their jobs.
The Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance and the Northwest Motorcycle Association are nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting and promoting off highway vehicle and offroad motorcycle recreation.
Tod Petersen
Political Action Committee Chairman – Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance
Legislative/Land Use Coordinator – Northwest Motorcycle Association
P.O. Box 61161
Seattle, WA 98141
tod701@aol.com
www.wohva.org
www.nmaoffroad.org
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Region 2 landmatters chairman
Wa. State Director PNW4WDA
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  #2  
Old 02-29-2012, 07:26 PM
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jim putman jim putman is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: puyallup wa.
Posts: 1,527
Default This times its the boaters funds

Looks like their after the boaters funds this time. I just recieved this from one of the lobbiests and thought I would share since I know a lot of people here have boats as well. Below is my letter to Sen Kastama.


FYI- please support our boating allies.

Citizens for Parks and Recreation
James L. King, Jr., Coordinator
120 State Ave NE #199
Olympia, WA 98501-8212
Cellular Phone (360)480-0038
Message Phone (360)754-6800

--- On Wed, 2/29/12, David J. wrote:


From: David J.
Subject: [rbaw-elert] BOATERS! EMMERGENCY ACTION ALERT
To: rbaw-elert@yahoogroups.com
Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 5:59 PM



************************** RBAW EMERGENCY ACTION ALERT *******************************

Please E-mail or call members of the Washington State Senate "Ways & Means Committee" today.

Background: The State Senate Operating Budget (SSB 5967) released Tuesday proposes a $4.6M "shift" of the boater's money --- a "shift" on the Recreation Resource Account (RRA) that is the boater's un-refunded gas tax money that is dedicated to grants for boating infrastructure (primarily launch ramp upgrades, mooring buoys, etc.). The "shift" would take boater's money and give it to Fish and Wildlife law enforcement for operating funds.

This is an emergency. Email or call members of the Senate Ways & Means Committees today.

Please see the committee list below (Link) for Senate Ways and Means Members and their contact information (OR use cut & paste e-mail address list.on bottom of this message)

http://www.leg.wa.gov/SENATE/COMMITT...bersStaff.aspx

Tell them that you are strongly against the proposed "shift" in the Senate Operating Budget that would transfer $4.6M from the Recreation Resource Account (RRA) in the Capital Budget and devote the funds to WDFW law enforcement.

Raiding dedicated funds in capital budgets for operating funds is shortsighted and "just kicks the can down the road". The RRA funds grow the state's economy. It makes no sense to undermine an account that builds infrastructure for the $4B boating industry, creates jobs now, and helps grow the economy.

This is an emergency. Please contact these Legislators NOW.

-Steve Greaves, 1st VP RBAW
-----------------------------------------------------

SENATE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO CONTACT

CHAIRMAN:
Senator Ed Murray
edward.murray@leg.wa.gov
District 43

MEMBERS:
Senator Michael Baumgartner
michael.baumgartner@leg.wa.gov
District 6

Senator Lisa Brown
lisa.brown@leg.wa.gov
District 3

Senator Steve Conway
steve.conway@leg.wa.gov
District 29

Senator Karen Fraser
karen.fraser@leg.wa.gov
District 22

Senator Nick Harper
nick.harper@leg.wa.gov
District 38

Senator Brian Hatfield
brian.hatfield@leg.wa.gov
District 19

Senator Mike Hewitt
mike.hewitt@leg.wa.gov
District 16

Senator Janéa Holmquist Newbry
janea.holmquistnewbry@leg.wa.gov
District 13

Senator Jim Honeyford
jim.honeyford@leg.wa.gov
District 15

Senator Jim Kastama
jim.kastama@leg.wa.gov
District 25

Senator Karen Keiser
karen.keiser@leg.wa.gov
District 33

Senator Derek Kilmer
derek.kilmer@leg.wa.gov
District 26

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles
jeanne.kohl-welles@leg.wa.gov
District 36

Senator Mike Padden
mike.padden@leg.wa.gov
District 4

Senator Linda Evans Parlette
linda.parlette@leg.wa.gov
District 12

Senator Cheryl Pflug
cheryl.pflug@leg.wa.gov
District 5

Senator Craig Pridemore
craig.pridemore@leg.wa.gov
District 49

Senator Debbie Regala
debbie.regala@leg.wa.gov
District 27

Senator Mark Schoesler
mark.schoesler@leg.wa.gov
District 9

Senator Rodney Tom
rodney.tom@leg.wa.gov
District 48

Senator Joseph Zarelli
joseph.zarelli@leg.wa.gov
District 18


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Senator Kastama please vote no on ssb5967. Last time its was a theft of the NOVA account that funds ORV and recreation and this time its the theft of DEDICATED boaters funds. We trust our government to use these funds as we direct them to Stealing them to give to another use is just that THEFT. Please stop this bill dead in its tracks and help to restore a little trust in our elected officials.
I liken actions like this to what if I decided to tell the dept. of revenue that I wasn't going to give them the tax money that I collected for the from my customers but instead I was going to give it to Labor and industries since they were a little short this month. I wonder how well that would go over ?

Sincerely Jim Putman
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Region 2 landmatters chairman
Wa. State Director PNW4WDA
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  #3  
Old 05-22-2012, 07:58 AM
jim putman's Avatar
jim putman jim putman is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: puyallup wa.
Posts: 1,527
Default court date today

The lawsuit over the NOVA funds goes to court this morning.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance ORV funds lawsuit will go before the Washington State Supreme Court.
Olympia, Washington – 13 February 2012
The Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance (WOHVA) and Northwest Motorcycle Association (NMA) lawsuit against the State of Washington to block the transfer of over 9.5 million dollars in offroad vehicle funds from the Nonhighway and Offroad Vehicle Activities (NOVA) account to State Parks will advance to the Washington State Supreme Court. Attorney James Buchal will be representing both organizations.
In 2009 the Legislature passed House Bill 1244, which transferred the money out of the NOVA account. The NOVA account money comes from the gas tax paid by offroad vehicle users and the license tab fees on offroad vehicles (ORV).
According to the Washington State Constitution gas tax collected must be used only for roads. To comply with that the state allows refunds on gas tax paid for other uses.
In 1972 the offroad vehicle community supported passage of legislation that waived their right to a direct refund of the taxes they paid for ORV fuel in exchange for having those same funds “refunded” into a dedicated account to promote and protect their sport. Later on, their ORV license tab money was added to this account too. The NOVA program was established to administer these funds.
All the money went to State Parks where it was not spent on offroad vehicle recreation. This was not a legitimate refund for the benefit of these taxpayers.
The NOVA funding is normally distributed by the State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board in the form of grants. These grants are awarded to governmental agencies such as the United States Forest Service, the Washington Department of Natural Resources and various counties. It is the primary source of funding for offroad vehicle recreation and for law enforcement on public lands in Washington.
If this funding is not returned to benefit the taxpayers that paid for it, families and their children throughout the State of Washington will lose the healthy outdoor recreational opportunities they were promised and for which they paid their taxes and ORV tab fees, as the trails they have enjoyed together are closed. Additionally, public employees throughout Washington who maintain and patrol those trails will lose their jobs.
The Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance and the Northwest Motorcycle Association are nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting and promoting off highway vehicle and offroad motorcycle recreation.
Tod Petersen
Political Action Committee Chairman – Washington Off Highway Vehicle Alliance
Legislative/Land Use Coordinator – Northwest Motorcycle Association
P.O. Box 61161
Seattle, WA 98141
tod701@aol.com
www.wohva.org
www.nmaoffroad.org
__________________
Member #40 Hombres jeep club
Region 2 landmatters chairman
Wa. State Director PNW4WDA
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:56 AM
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Location: Kennewick, WA
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Default

Watched the tag end of the hearing, and that made my head hurt...
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  #5  
Old 05-22-2012, 12:07 PM
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PistonsChick PistonsChick is offline
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Location: Ridgefield, WA
Posts: 191
Default

WOW!

I and another club member, Dave Huttula, watched this case on Channel 22 (TVW) this morning. At first I was a little concerned (as was Dave) - but we had to realign our expectations to remember this is real court, not Law & Order on TV court and it tends to be more messy and less structured for most cases - not just this one.

Attorneys are not as polished as paid actors, they stumble sometimes and as we can see in this case - the Attorney representing OHV users is also an OHV user and he, every now and then, gets emotionally involved and shows his passion for the sport. I personally found that inspiring and I hope the Supreme Court Justices felt the same way.

The attorney representing our case seemed to be struggling a bit in the beginning with his opening argument - then I realized after watching another separate case that that's just how it goes.

The Plaintiff (that's us) has 10 minutes to plead their case, the merits of the complaint etc. What I was not aware of is that ALL of the Supreme Court Justices can, at any time, call him out, ask for clarification or try to poke holes in his theories, and they do - constantly. I relaxed a bit when I saw them do the exact same thing to the Defendant (WA State).

The counsel for the State hinged his entire argument on a 2003 poll that they say determined that only 20% of recreationists using the back roads are doing so for motorized recreation. I believe he is taking the data from surveys that we recreationists honestly fill out and is then twisting it around to use against us. In his theory, let's say a 4-wheeler fills out the form and checks the box saying he goes 4-wheeling, but also checks the boxes for hunting, fishing, hiking and bicycling. We all know it is quite common for 4-wheelers to participate in other outdoor activities - we all love the outdoors and enjoy them every chance we get. Based on the States interpretation of this data - that 4-wheeler is using backroads 20% of the time for 4-wheeling activities and 80% of the time for non-motorized recreation. THAT is the State's sole reasoning for diverting the $9.5 million dollars to State Parks - because 80% of recreationists would receive benefit from the dollars being spent to keep State Parks open.

While it appears that an open ended loophole that is in place will protect the State from ever having to pay the 9.5 million dollars back to the NOVA fund. They indicated that the court cannot force re-payment after 2 years, but it takes two years to get heard by the Supreme Court.

On a positive note, we can still hold out hope that the Supreme Court will rule in our favor and protect this from ever happening again.

Our Attorney, while carefully hop-scotching through the opening arguments, delivered a passionate and demanding closing argument on our behalf. His final statement addressed that we not only had been wronged by the mis-appropriation of the NOVA funds, but that we have been injured as well when our recreation areas were systematically being closed down due to the lack of available grant funding from the NOVA program.

Overall, job well done by our attorney and I look forward to hearing the determination from the Supreme Court Justices.

You can watch the entire hearing here. It's 45 minutes long - get your popcorn and Prozac - you're going to need it...

http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=...ID=2012050063A

Crystal

* The post above is merely my interpretation of the case heard by the Supreme Court today and does not in any way reflect the opinion of my club or the PNW4WDA - this is simply my individual perception of what happened.
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aka "Pistons Chick"
Club President
Piston's Wild Motorsports
www.pistonswild.com
PNW4WDA Member for 25 Years
(360) 606-1648

"SARCASM - because beating the crap out of people is illegal."

Last edited by PistonsChick; 05-22-2012 at 02:12 PM.
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