The Duffer

PGO Legislative Advocacy Goals for 2013

1) Every owner affected by the Amusement Tax would like to see it abolished.  (For golf course owners – this tax at best it is an unfair tax.  Golf is NOT an amusement).  We have provided testimony in support of abolishment on two occasions (in 2006 and 2008).

2) On taxes….Everyone is concerned that the legislature will attempt to place a tax on greens fees sometime in the future.

3) We would like to see some movement on the WIP.  In other words, definitive legislation.  What will the state and federal governments require of the golf course owners, going forward, to comply with the Chesapeake Bay watershed improvement plan? A few of our members, (especially the representative from the GCSAA – (the superintendents)), have given numerous hours of testimony to educate the state legislators, the EPA, and the DEP on golf course fertilizer, chemical, and pesticide usage.

4) Water rights is always an issue.  And now there is growing concern in western PA that they will be taxed on water collected in ponds – much like the SRBC does in central PA.

5) We are generally in favor of the Standardization of School Start dates (HB137 / HB258).  We have aligned our association in this camp, and have provided testimony in support (2011).

6) We would like to be recognized as leaders in attracting tourism to PA.  To that end, we would like to continue to solicit the state to help us fund our various marketing and advertising campaigns.  We have a golf packaging company preparing a comprehensive marketing plan for 2013 which will spotlight many golf facilities in different counties throughout the state.  We also have our web-master updating the website ( with the same various ‘golf packages’ and then highlighting every PGO member.  In addition, we are aggressively aligning ourselves with the CVB’s in PA, an currently we are working with:  Butler, Chester, Mercer, Crawford, Erie, and the PA Wilds.

7) Why do facilities get federal rebates on the use of diesel fuel – but there are no such state rebates?  We see this issue as a possible avenue for future legislation.

8 ….And then there are what we will call “special interest issues.”  Line items which may only affect a region or limited number of facilities: Black Fly eradication, municipal and military golf facility competition, LCB code issues, etc.

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The Duffer