Background and Information on the “Pleasure Boat Tax” Exemption
Senator Ryan Deckert, D-Beaverton, is drafting legislation that would be detrimental to recreational boaters. He has proposed eliminating the so-called pleasure boat tax exemption. This exemption is being portrayed as a “tax break” for pleasure boats: implying boaters get some special or preferential treatment. This legislation would not be presented to the voters to vote upon, but quietly attached to some other type of bill.
This is the same exemption that applies to automobiles, motor homes, aircraft, cars and other personal property not used for business. Boat owners not only pay a state registration fee but state and federal gasoline taxes, and excise taxes on equipment and accessories. These funds support boating programs that do not require general fund support. In essence, boat owners are paying their own way. Under Deckert’s plan, it is unclear how the exception would benefit the state general fund. Generally, property taxes are collected locally. Elimination of the “in lieu” exemption would not raise state revenues one cent. If the exemption on pleasure boats were being eliminated, it would only seem fair to eliminate the exemption for other kinds of recreational vehicles and other vehicles if we desire consistent tax policy. This appears to single out on industry. As you know, make model year do not easily translate into value given all the variables of use, care, area of operation, etc. Indeed, it would be difficult to come up with a fair assessed value without an individual survey of each boat’s condition, rigging
, gear and accessory items.
A new tax or a replacement tax for user fees, it could mean added costs to boat owners, not only when they buy a boat, but with some type of added annual fee. Adding a personal property tax on top of other fees would have a negative impact on the boating industry in Oregon.
Currently, Oregon exempts all personal property used for personal use, including motor vehicles, travel trailers, motor homes, RV’s, private aircraft, and boats. A change in this tax policy should apply to all personal property and not discriminate against only one type. Boats should not be treated any differently than motor homes, travel trailers, RV’s or private aircraft.
I would like to see this posted in as many venues as possible. My feeling is once it starts the ripple affect will.
I have a list of names and addresses of senators and representatives on the Ways and Means Committee and both house and senate Revenue Committee. We ask that you please take the time to write or email as many as possible of these politicians and let them know that you do not support this legislation.
Also I have a copy of the letter sent to Representative Randy Miller by Doug Walker, President of the Columbia River Yachting Association, which concisely spells it all out.\
At your request I will forward copies to all of you as it is too much to post in this forum..