Here's the bill: http://mlis.state.md.us/2012rs/bills/hb/hb1345f.pdf
It defines this a sales tax AND (most importantly) a USE tax
. A USE tax is a YEARLY tax imposed on the USE of the item.
In the above URL you will find that for assessed value of greater than $35,000 and less than $90,000 the USE tax
will be a yearly 1% of the value. For greater than $90,000 value the yearly tax bite will be $550 PLUS 2% of the value in excess of $90,000.00. Of course assessed value is entirely arbitrary and at the whim of the assessing authority ... and 'can' be much higher than the 'actual' value.
Since this is defined as a sales tax AND a use tax, you pay the tax at the time of the sale/purchase AND the same amount EVERY YEAR that you USE the boat in Maryland - the area as defined by 'location of principal usage' - 90 days! There is NO EXCLUSION for 'non-residents' anywhere listed in this outrageous 'bill'. Its NOT a 'property tax' its a sales and USE
... and there are preliminary discussions for the ADDITIONAL implementation of PROPERTY taxes (on boats, etc.) on top
of this USE tax by the counties/cities, etc.
Annapolis and its surrounding area, the 'sailing capital of the east coast', will become a ghost town and you can bet your ass that the lucrative marine industry there will whither to only selling 'cheapies', dinghies and inflatables.
Maryland has 'chased away' most of its basic industry and commerce by its inane burdensome tax laws (4th highest in the USA) ... the recreational maritime industry is simply the next to be bludgeoned and forced to relocate elsewhere.
My guess is Maryland, with most manufacturing and other productive industry driven away, that all it has left in tax base opportunism is to extract from the 'rich' US and state government, etc. workers who only use Maryland as their 'bedroom'.
Foreign flagging (flag of convenience - FOC) will become 'de rigueur' ... IF you can move your boat to an offshore port/country yearly to meet the US cruising permit laws.