With lake season quickly approaching, Gov. Fallin signed legislation Monday to ensure eligibility for boat rental businesses to operate in state parks. Sen. Bill Brown, author of Senate Bill 374, said the measure will protect legitimate, rule-abiding businesses.
“This bill was requested by a boat rental business owner at Beaver Bend Lake in southeast Oklahoma who is competing against individuals who are renting boats to tourists by taking ads out in the local paper. These individuals aren’t running legitimate businesses because they don’t have contracts with the Department of Tourism or a business license,” said Brown, R-Tulsa. “They’re hurting the legitimate business owner because they can rent their boats for less because they don’t have all of the overhead expenses. This isn’t fair but it’s happening all over the state. We need to protect those business owners who are following the law.”
The bill requires boat rental businesses to have a valid written contract with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department or the agency that owns the lake. This contract is in the form of a use permit, which amounts to 10 percent of gross sales. Business owners must also have a business license issued by the state; a visible, commercially-accessible public location; and a tax permit as well as any other required local permit.
Those who fail to meet the minimum requirements will be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500, 30 days in the county jail or both.
SB 374 goes into effect November 1, 2013.