Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Question for world cruisers
"I keep my boat in Maryland but I don't pay property tax on the boat, just on the property I own. "
To your credit, you obviously aren't a lawyer. "Property" is a laymen's term. Your house and the land under it are "real property" as distinguished from "personal property" or "Chattel goods".
Real property tax, on real estate, is not the same as "personal property tax". Go to CT and you'll pay personal property tax on your CAR every year as well, unless they've changed that. It made two and three year old used luxury cars very popular there, since they weren't taxed on the higher value of a NEW car.
And while the taxman is biting, many states also charge SCHOOL TAX which can double the "property tax" on your real estate. Some charge "frontage tax" based on the number of feet that your property abutts a municipal paved road.
Got a business? Some charge inventory tax or business property tax, on all the goods and fixtures your business has, including your water cooler, every year.
And the best thing about tax men in the US, is that they fall under administrative law, neither civil nor criminal. So, they can charge you, and it is mainly up to you to prove your innocence. They don't have to prove you are guilty. Somehow, they operate under Napoleonic Code, not the usual "innocent till proven guilty".
As to "sailing on a chunk of the US" maybe, up into the late 80's. The protections and benefits given to documented vessels have dried up and blown away over the years. You might find them in Chapter 10, USCode, if you wanted to dig up older versions and see how much has been lost. And of course, the Department of State really has been trying to ignore those damned taxpayers more and more every year. Whether you have rights or not, they'd really rather endorse W.C.Fields: "Go away, boy, you bother me."