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post #158 of Old 01-02-2013
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Re: Mooring bouys

The cost of your mooring does not represent the true value of the privilege. Whether we like it or not our waters (and the land below) are owned in unison with all of the other citizens in our respective states. Each state handles it differently and in most New England towns, the control or policing of the harbors is done by the municipalities. We are subsidized in the sense that the value of what we enjoy (the mooring) is permitted to us at an artificially low rate so that the most amount of people can use the water. If the states or towns wanted to generate more income and/or have less moorings, they could charge the real value of moorings. So for example in Vineyard Haven, they could deliberately reduce moorings by a hundred and instead of charging the hundred or so dollars for a mooring permit, they could charge what the market would bear, and I imagine they could charge in the tens of thousands for single moorings. This would make more room for anchoring and would provide a lot more income for many harbors to pay for harbor maintenance and services. It would open up room for anchoring. But, the counterweight against doing this is the general legal requirement that the "people's" property should be enjoyed (imperfectly) by the most amount of people and that the people should not be excluded from what they collectively own. So the subsidization is the fact that we mooring holders in most locations are not paying the full value of what we have and the resultant cost (harbor maintenance, policing, etc) is borne by the general public. Similar to using public lands. I am not saying this is right or wrong. It is just the way it has developed legally and in practice on our shores.

Last edited by GMC; 01-02-2013 at 02:08 PM.
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