Originally Posted by billbalme
Interesting. Thanks for the responses.
I am a resident of MA.
When I purchased my previous boat (also documented) I sailed her out of Rhode Island (was not even aware of the tax implications). However, we moved her to MA and sailed her out of Mattapoisett for three seasons. Nobody ever came after me for tax - and I wasn't aware I was dodging it. I even paid the local harbor tax...
Is there perhaps a time-frame that one owns a boat for after which if it's transferred to another state, tax is not liable?...
MA will want its use tax on any vessel brought into the state for sixty days, less any tax paid in a state with a reciprocity agreement.
The state now has the towns tied into checking for use tax. Towns all want their annual boat excise tax ( a minor amount), so the harbormasters, police and other agents look for the annual town mooring stickers on all boats in marinas or mooring areas. To get a sticker you need to have paid the annual excise tax which gets you and your boat details on the tax roles. I forget how the state closes the loop on boats on the excise tax lists and whether it has a record of a sales/use tax - whether they do it after the fact or as part of the excise tax application....