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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Boat Buyers & Sellers Forum
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  #1  
Old 10-17-2010
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Question Which state do I license through?

I live in Washington State, right on the border (the border being the Columbia River) between Washington and Oregon, and am in the market for a boat. It is most likely that I will buy my boat across the river in Oregon (Portland), mostly just because there just arenít any boats for sale on my side of the river. Furthermore, I will definitely be keeping the boat in a marina in Oregon (again Portland).

So my question is this: Seeing as how the boat will be purchased in Oregon, and will be kept in Oregon, but I am a resident of Washington, with which state do I register/license the boat?

Okay, so I know this is very specific question, about a very specific scenario. but any advice is greatly appreciated!
Thanks all!
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Old 10-17-2010
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Most states will require out of state residents to register their vessels in that state after it has been there for a period of more than 60 days. I would check with Oregon to see what their policy is. I have had to register my boat in several states in one year for this reason, even though my boat was a documented vessel.
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Old 10-17-2010
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Agree w/ xsboats. I am a Virginian with a USCG documented boat carrying a state registration sticker for Maryland. Unless Oregon (Go Ducks!) has a hideous tax on boats - you will find that arrangement will be easiest.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwilson View Post
Unless Oregon (Go Ducks!) has a hideous tax on boats - you will find that arrangement will be easiest.
Well wwilson, yes, that's kinda where I was going with this post, I just didn't know legally what I am going to be required to do.

Oregon has NO sales tax (on boats or anything else), whereas Washington has something like 8%. If I can license the boat in Oregon... well that means I save thousands and can buy more toys for the boat, OR afford 8% MORE boat LOL

THANKS GUYS!
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Old 10-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteRabbit View Post
Well wwilson, yes, that's kinda where I was going with this post, I just didn't know legally what I am going to be required to do.

Oregon has NO sales tax (on boats or anything else), whereas Washington has something like 8%. If I can license the boat in Oregon... well that means I save thousands and can buy more toys for the boat, OR afford 8% MORE boat LOL

THANKS GUYS!
Perfectly legal, but remember that if you bring it back to Washington for an extended period of time (2 to 6 mo usually) that state may require you to register it there and pay their fee.

MD has been pretty aggressive with their on-the-water police boats watching for long stays for out of state boats. I have heard that FL is as well?
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Last edited by wwilson; 10-17-2010 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 10-17-2010
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Red face The Certainty of... Taxes...

Lots of southern WA residents keep their boats on the Oregon side of the river because there are a lot more marinas on that side. I personally know of several that paid their WA purchase sales tax and then have registered the boat in OR (registration is inexpensive in OR).

While some others probably cheat the WA tax folks, be aware that when caught there are penalties along with the tax due. And once caught you will be in their sights forever....

We Oregonians pay a higher income tax and property tax because we have no sales tax... so do not expect much sympathy from us if your state prosecutes you for tax evasion.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olson34 View Post

While some others probably cheat the WA tax folks,

... so do not expect much sympathy from us if your state prosecutes you for tax evasion.
WHOA WHOA WHOA THERE PARTNER!!!! Hoooold on! I'm not trying to cheat anyone out of anything! I pay my taxes same as you. That's why I wanted to check in with Ya'll! I didn't know what the legalities are, because I will be keeping the boat as an OR boat, but do live in WA

I respect your opinion, because you are living in my area, and obviously know more than I.

Thanks for the time
So I can get this straight in my own mind, you are saying that because I am a WA resident, I will need to pay WA taxes on a OR boat, even if I by the boat in OR, and keep/sail out of OR?
Do you think it would be best if first I register the boat from OR (where purchased) to WA (my residence) and then back again to OR (home port)??

Incidentally how much is registration in OR? does it go by length? weight?
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteRabbit View Post
So I can get this straight in my own mind, you are saying that because I am a WA resident, I will need to pay WA taxes on a OR boat, even if I by the boat in OR, and keep/sail out of OR?
Do you think it would be best if first I register the boat from OR (where purchased) to WA (my residence) and then back again to OR (home port)??
WA does have sales tax, and if you purchase something out of state and bring it into the state, you then have to pay a use tax on it. The Use Tax is the same as the Sales Tax rate. In any incorporated area of Clark county, that is 8.2% I think.

So, if you purchase the boat in OR, and use the boat in OR, then you are not legally obligated to pay Sales or Use tax to WA. If you bring the boat to WA, I think you have 60 days before you need to register the boat in WA. At that time, you would pay use tax on the value of the boat as determined by the WA state DOL.
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Old 10-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteRabbit View Post
WHOA WHOA WHOA THERE PARTNER!!!! Hoooold on! I'm not trying to cheat anyone out of anything! I pay my taxes same as you. That's why I wanted to check in with Ya'll! I didn't know what the legalities are, because I will be keeping the boat as an OR boat, but do live in WA

I respect your opinion, because you are living in my area, and obviously know more than I.

Thanks for the time
So I can get this straight in my own mind, you are saying that because I am a WA resident, I will need to pay WA taxes on a OR boat, even if I by the boat in OR, and keep/sail out of OR?
Do you think it would be best if first I register the boat from OR (where purchased) to WA (my residence) and then back again to OR (home port)??

Incidentally how much is registration in OR? does it go by length? weight?
It is legal/ethical/moral to pay as little tax as possible, just don't break any laws doing so. There's absolutely no reason to register your boat anywhere but Oregon, that is where you are using her, and the state of Oregon will want you registering her their.

If you have any doubts, look at the prominent politician from Massachusetts that registered his boat in Rhode Island. And you know that boat will be visiting Martha's Vineyard, MA and Nantucket, MA every summer.

If you go to WA with your boat, bring along recent gas/diesel receipts from OR that have a date on them. That way if you are stopped you can show she's been in WA less than X days. You can even ask the fuel-dock attendent to write the name of the boat on the receipt.

Know what X is. Also whether the WA law says "X consecutive days" or what specifically it says. Keep a photocopy/print-out of that with you.

Finally, good job asking. Save the money and have fun.

Regards,
Brad
Not a lawyer, by the way, but I can read.
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  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWhiteRabbit View Post
WHOA WHOA WHOA THERE PARTNER!!!! Hoooold on! I'm not trying to cheat anyone out of anything! I pay my taxes same as you. That's why I wanted to check in with Ya'll! I didn't know what the legalities are, because I will be keeping the boat as an OR boat, but do live in WA

I respect your opinion, because you are living in my area, and obviously know more than I.

Thanks for the time
So I can get this straight in my own mind, you are saying that because I am a WA resident, I will need to pay WA taxes on a OR boat, even if I by the boat in OR, and keep/sail out of OR?
Do you think it would be best if first I register the boat from OR (where purchased) to WA (my residence) and then back again to OR (home port)??

Incidentally how much is registration in OR? does it go by length? weight?
Firstly, If you want information on tax liability for your state of residence, you need to check with your own state. Asking strangers on the internet is no substitute. Even if you don't like the official answer, it is still the answer you have to live with.

As alluded to earlier, there are indeed WA sailors that keep boats on the oregon side of the Columbia River to avoid WA sales or use tax. If they are checked on by any WA enforcement authority the tax guys up in Olympia may well be informed in due course...once they see their home address.
The other point of enforcement is that when they go cruising up to the Puget Sound area they may be caught. (Besides overcrowding in the recreational areas in the Sound, that's another reason why a ton of sailors around here spend their summers vacationing up in BC waters.)

Here's a link to the OMB, and note that they are not a general fund agency, but are funded by boater regis. $. And, much of that money is also used to build boating facilities throughout the state. State of Oregon: Oregon State Marine Board
Here is the link for cost of registration. State of Oregon: Titling & Registration
I pay $107. every two years, for instance.

Most of us Oregon boaters think we are getting a bargain. Oregon is a full title state for watercraft, and we have up-to-date ramps and docks for our use on our rivers, bays and lakes.

Last edited by olson34; 10-18-2010 at 09:42 AM.
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