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SB 2972 Passed House

Now Needs Senate Concurrence

Good things happened yesterday in the Mississippi State Legislature. We crossed another milestone on the road towards finding a home for river guides in the tax code. SB 2972 left the Ways and Means Committee and was passed overwhelmingly as amended by the House (113 Yeas and 8 Nays). It's a historic moment for the future of nature tourism along the Lower Miss. Now it goes back to Senate. Hopefully the Senate Finance Committee will concur this week and pass on to Governor Bryant. Let your senator know that we want concurrence with this bill! See below for a list of the Mississippi Senators in the Finance Committee and how to contact them. This is a bi-partisan issue that everyone can agree upon.

This won't be retroactive, but it will pave the way for us and for anyone else interested in the growing industry of river guiding and outfitting to do it fairly in par with all other river and harbor endeavors, as Federal Law has been written to protect. River industry is as basic to the economy as agriculture or mining. River guiding is as important as any other, and is showing a lot of promise along the Lower Mississippi. Sorry to go on about this, but we naturally feel very strongly about it, and are hopeful for speedy and definitive resolution.

Senator Robert “Bobby” Jackson

Senator Robert “Bobby” Jackson Democrat District 11 authored SB 2972. Senator Jackson has steadfastly fostered this bill through the twists and turns of the state capitol, and has stayed in almost daily contact with us. A Mighty Quapaw shout-out to Senator Jackson! We are forever thankful of his attention to river guides and the business of nature tourism on the Mississippi River.

Additional Authors include Senators Hopson, Simmons (12th), Sojourner, Watson, and Butler (36th). Amendments were introduced by Rep Mayo. Our sincere appreciation goes out to these additional authors.

SB 2972:

“AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 27-65-22 AND 27-65-101, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXEMPT FROM SALES TAXATION GUIDED TOURS, WHICH INCLUDE PROVIDING ACCOMMODATIONS, GUIDE SERVICES AND/OR RELATED EQUIPMENT OPERATED BY OR UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE PERSON PROVIDING THE TOUR, FOR THE PURPOSES OF OUTDOOR TOURISM; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 27-65-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH IMPOSES SALES TAX ON CERTAIN BUSINESS ACTIVITIES, FOR THE PURPOSES OF AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.”

Furthermore, language has been inserted for an evaluation in 2015, and a start date of July 1st:

SECTION 4. The Division of Tourism of the Mississippi Development Authority shall prepare and file a report with the Legislature regarding the impact of the tax exemption provided in Section 27-65-101(rr) on the tourism industry in this state and other economic development activities. The report shall be filed with the Clerk of the Mississippi House of Representatives and Secretary of the Mississippi State Senate not later than December 31, 2015.

SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2014.

Save Quapaw Canoe Company

Fundraising Campaign

Fundraising report as of this morning (March 19th):

$15,186 raised at Indiegogo.com

$8,595 received in checks

= $23,781 total donations to defense fund

We’re now about 95% towards our $25K goal

We’re planning a fundraiser/celebration for Wed April 9th at Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale!

On another note, see below. We have added new perks to our "Save Quapaw Canoe Company Fundraising Campaign." This is done in response to your generosity. These are reciprocal if you have already signed your name or donated. If you have sent a check we'll do the same. Every donation, every petition, every prayer, every signature makes a difference. Most important to us is the fact that you have placed your signature or your hard-earned money (or both!) in belief of the river and our cause. Thanks to everyone for your trust in us. We are humbly yours in service of the river. This has been one of the most moving experiences in the history of Quapaw Canoe Company. We're just a bunch of worker bees. The river is the honey.

Perks for the Fundraising Campaign: Save Quapaw Canoe Company Legal Defense Fund. Everyone gets a blessing. If you sent a check, we will attach the appropriate perk to your donation.

$0 (Petition Signature)

We will add your signature to the sacred fire and send it to the creator as a blessing for the river and your attention to her power and beauty.

$25 Quapaw River Blessing

A White Sage River River Blessing will be made the next time we see you, or on our next Mississippi River Educational Adventure.

$100 Quapaw Owl Hoot!

A Mighty Quapaw Shout Out and Owl Hoot will be sent echoing down the main channel of the Mississippi River, along with a river blessing.

$500 Message in a Bottle

We will write a personal Mighty Quapaw "we love you!" letter and send it as a message in a bottle along with a Mighty Quapaw Shout Out and river blessing.

$1,000 River Geographic Feature

We will designate one of the many river beaches, mudbars, channels, chutes, landings or points that we frequent along the Lower Mississippi in your honor (using a name of your choosing) This will be shared with the world through our newsletter and in a message in a bottle that will be floated downstream at the conclusion of this campaign (with appropriate river blessings as seen above).

$5,000 Constellation in your Honor

We will locate a cluster of stars in the night sky and imagine a new constellation in your name (or subject of your choosing), in accordance with the artistic tendencies of the river and the patterns forever flowing through the universe. We'll send you a star chart identifying this new constellation. *Note: while not an official constellation naming, it will nonetheless be observed by Mighty Quapaws in our river expeditions in remembrance of your generosity during our time of need.

To make donations, send check to Quapaw Canoe Company, 291 Sunflower Avenue, Clarksdale, MS 38614. For credit card, please go to our Indiegogo platform: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-quapaw-canoe-company/x/6475385

Senate Finance Committee:

Send an email or make a phone call

Click on your Mississippi Senator below for contact info. Send an email or make a phone call to your Senator on the Senate Finance Committee and let them know that (1) we want concurrence on SB 2972, and (2) to please send it on this week to Governor Bryant for signing. Thank you if you can do this!

Finance

Mississippi Senate Committee

Sen. Joey Fillingane
(Republican-MS 41) Chair

Sen. Dean Kirby
(Republican-MS 30) Vice Chair

Sen. Nickey Browning
(Republican-MS 3) Member

Sen. Hob Bryan
(Democratic-MS 7) Member

Sen. Kelvin Butler
(Democratic-MS 38) Member

Sen. Lydia Chassaniol
(Republican-MS 14) Member

Sen. Deborah Dawkins
(Democratic-MS 48) Member

Sen. Sally Doty
(Republican-MS 39) Member

Sen. Steve Hale
(Democratic-MS 10) Member

Sen. Josh Harkins
(Republican-MS 20) Member

Sen. Billy Hudson, Sr.
(Republican-MS 45) Member

Sen. Kenneth Jones
(Democratic-MS 21) Member

Sen. David Jordan
(Democratic-MS 24) Member

Sen. Will Longwitz
(Republican-MS 25) Member

Sen. Chris Massey
(Republican-MS 1) Member

Sen. Haskins Montgomery
(Democratic-MS 34) Member

Sen. Philip Moran
(Republican-MS 46) Member

Sen. David Parker
(Republican-MS 19) Member

Sen. Rita Parks
(Republican-MS 4) Member

Sen. John Polk
(Republican-MS 44) Member

Sen. Derrick Simmons
(Democratic-MS 12) Member

Sen. Tony Smith
(Republican-MS 47) Member

Sen. Bill Stone
(Democratic-MS 2) Member

Sen. Gray Tollison
(Republican-MS 9) Member

Sen. Giles Ward
(Republican-MS 18) Member

Sen. Michael Watson
(Republican-MS 51) Member