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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Use Tax / Documented Vessels?
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Thread: Use Tax / Documented Vessels? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-09-2011 05:47 AM
Minnewaska
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfok View Post
....Please someone tell me I don't owe a "use tax" anywhere I use my boat outside of where it is registered......
Sorry, you technically do and it really pisses people off. As you noted, however, most states only require it after you've "used" the boat in their state for an extended period of time and typically only ask for any excess in their rate over what you already paid another state, if their is an excess. How long that time period is will vary greatly by state.

I'm told, in Massachusetts, the marinas are required to report any vessel that remains on their dock/mooring for more than two weeks. That probably gets the ball rolling to see if you trip their actual use tax period. I'm not sure what that is exactly.
03-08-2011 11:35 PM
TakeFive
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfok View Post
...I live in Pennsylvania, have a boat in Maryland (registered and sales tax paid to....I don't know, someone wanted tax so I paid it........)...Please someone tell me I don't owe a "use tax" anywhere I use my boat outside of where it is registered.
As I understand it ( and truth be told my eyes glazed over 15 seconds into the explanation) I paid MD so PA is happy - EXCEPT!! if I bring my boat to PA and stay either:
a) 30 days
b) till someone notices me
c) the new governor discovers the state has a deficit.
...
You're actually in better shape than that. I live in PA and keep my boat here, but I was considering keeping her in MD, so I spoke to both states about reciprocity. (I think the person in MD who I spoke to was the "chief" of the department for the entire state.) If you move to PA someday and you have paperwork to prove you paid sales tax to MD, you will only owe the difference in tax rates. If you paid 6% to MD and PA's rate is 6%, you will owe no sales tax. If you paid 5% to MD and PA's rate is 6%, you will owe 1%. There should be no interest or penalty so long as you pay within 30 days of moving to PA.

The people in both states told me horror stories you hear are typically people who clearly evaded/delayed/lied in order to avoid paying, and they ended up paying huge interest and penalties as a result. If the horror stories sound grossly unfair to the boat owner, chances are the boat owner is leaving out some key details to slant his story in his favor. All states are cracking down, but I still believe that they are not out to burn people who are fundamentally honest and who act in good faith. You appear to have done that so far. I am less impressed with the OP, though.
03-08-2011 11:13 PM
capttb I've only been taxed by the county where the boat is berthed.
03-08-2011 10:03 PM
Dfok I believe in the "common weal" and certainly support paying for public docks, the Coast Guard placing buoys and rescuing folks, conservation efforts and a whole lot of other stuff that has to happen.
I live in Pennsylvania, have a boat in Maryland (registered and sales tax paid to....I don't know, someone wanted tax so I paid it........) I have insurance and try within reason to follow all the rules without going far out of my way to follow rules I have no idea exist.
Please someone tell me I don't owe a "use tax" anywhere I use my boat outside of where it is registered.
As I understand it ( and truth be told my eyes glazed over 15 seconds into the explanation) I paid MD so PA is happy - EXCEPT!! if I bring my boat to PA and stay either:
a) 30 days
b) till someone notices me
c) the new governor discovers the state has a deficit.
Paraphrasing Waylon Jennings on Willie Nelson - If I owe the gov't a hundred dollars I have a problem - if I owe the gov't ten thousand dollars they have a problem.
Obviously being on Sailnet Forum we are all intelligent,reasonable, most likely good looking and for the most part law abiding folks. It ain't fun but I guess for the most part we pay our taxes and our fair share.
But geez it stinks to try to do right while harboring a suspicion that no matter what you do you are somehow, someway, somewhere wrong.
03-08-2011 09:27 PM
BELLATRIX1965 Mike - don't know about California, but here in Maine we have to pay an annual boat "excise" tax, even if the vessel is documented. It's basically the same thing as the excise tax on a car - and the tax money stays local - in the case of boat excise, it pays to operate our public docks / harbor. In the big scheme of boat ownership, it's small potatoes, and it keeps our harbor up and running (town docks don't get pulled / launched / maintained for free!). If you don't pay, you are putting the cost on your neighbors!
03-08-2011 07:32 PM
GeorgeB Mike, As you should already know, California is a personal property tax state. The tax is collected by the county. It is calculated off of the purchased price (from the sales tax calculation) or assessment, which ever is greater. Frankly, Iím surprised they havenít got to you yet. The counties get the registration records from the state, so Iím surprised you havenít got a bill from Butte county. The second way they get you is the assessors DO walk the docks, and your harbormaster DOES provide them with your mailing address so they can send you the bill. In the first year of ownership, expect two bills if you reside in a different county than your boat. It is up to you to straighten out the double dipping (personal experience on two boats). Itís only a matter of time when you come down to your boat and find it chained to the dock awaiting a sherriffís auction (a friend bought his boat that way). Good luck. Be thankful you are in Marina Bay and not a municipal marina. They have the gaul to send you a tax bill for the slip (imagine paying property tax for water!).
03-08-2011 07:30 PM
glassdad The personal property tax is 1% of value or purchase price. If you can afford to buy the boat, you can afford to pay the tax. No, i don't like paying taxes but that is the cost of owning the boat. If the state has no money, they can't dredge the harbor entrance or keep the channel clear.
03-08-2011 07:24 PM
capttb I'm a California native but I'm not pissed because I know that the taxman cometh. And I am referring to personal property taxes which are annual and based on the value of your vessel. The "use tax" paid at time of purchase is at the same rate as "sales tax", somekind of tax semantics.
I even get to pay "possesive interest tax" which is personal property tax on the square footage of water surface I RENT from the county.
03-08-2011 07:09 PM
dhays
Quote:
Originally Posted by treilley View Post
Mikehradecky, consider that you are boasting about not paying your fair share which affects the rest of us taxpayers who have complied. Also consider that your comments incriminate you and there may be some folks lurking or even members who work for "The Man". Not too smart.
Well, to be fair.... Mike not paying his share of taxes in CA will not affect our taxes or services in either Maine or Washington State. That is unless CA goes completely under and is successful in getting bailed out by the Federal government. If I was a CA resident however, I'd be pissed.

Since sales tax was paid when the boat was purchased, I doubt you have any use tax owing in CA. I don't know if CA has a personal property tax on items such as boats though.
03-08-2011 06:41 PM
Tim R. Mikehradecky, consider that you are boasting about not paying your fair share which affects the rest of us taxpayers who have complied. Also consider that your comments incriminate you and there may be some folks lurking or even members who work for "The Man". Not too smart.
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