I will be buying my first keel boat shortly and soon will need to decide what state to declare as my boat's "home." I live in PA, and plan to keep it nearby in PA for a year. If I like the Delaware River more than I think I will, it could be longer. But Plan A is to take it to Maryland (upper Chesapeake, maybe Rock Hall) in 2011 and thereafter. So I'd like some advice on the possible choices:
- Document and register in PA (per state requirement), pay 6% sales tax to PA. In a year move it to Maryland and buy the MD sticker that they require. I've heard MD is notoriously strict about collecting excise taxes. But they don't demand excise tax if I can prove I paid to PA already, do they?
- Document in MD, and pay 5% sales tax there (save 1% vs PA, I think), and be a "visitor" in PA for a year, hoping PA enforcement does not notice. This could save me 1% sales tax, and I do not believe PA is as strict with enforcement as MD is.
Has anyone tried the second option? Is it too risky? For anyone who has moved their boat from PA to MD, how did that process go for you? Were you able to show proof of PA sales tax and avoid MD excise tax?