SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Mooring bouys Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-02-2013 02:38 PM
Re: Mooring bouys

For the records, I would never use any privately owned mooring buoy unless in an emergency that will create a greater danger to others if I don't pick the ball.

OTOH, if I own a mooring ball or a slip, I don't mind other using it if I am not around. I may put a contact number on a small tag attached to the ball and advise the transient captain to call me before using it for the nite.

I don't mind to share
01-02-2013 02:32 PM
Re: Mooring bouys

Right. I think the better analogy is not society's ability to tax. A mooring permit is different as it is a license or permit to use public property that has value. Probably a bad example, but if the state government owns an unused building and leases it for 100 dollars a month in a market where comparable property is leasing at 10,000, the lessee is getting a deal and the loss in rent is absorbed by us, the public, who own the building. Maybe there is a good reason for the lower rent, but not charging the fair market rent is a type of subsidy. That's all I mean.
01-02-2013 02:17 PM
Re: Mooring bouys

GMC, I get your point. However, you are saying that society could, if it chose to exercise its authority, get away with forcing its will on the individual and requiring they pay more. Probably true. However, society haven't actually subsidized the cost of these moorings. Failing to exercise your power is not a subsidy. I doubt there is a single harbor or harbor patrol that was created exclusively to permit the presence of an owner occupied mooring field.
01-02-2013 02:15 PM
Re: Mooring bouys

I'm not sure I was clear on Vineyard Haven example. People (like me) would go nuts if we knew we could not obtain a mooring permit in a harbor unless we could pay 15,000 dollars. If this system were in place, most of NE's harbors moorings would be closed to anyone but the wealthy. That is hard to take when you know it is public property. I think that is part of the reason we have the very limited, but very cheap mooring opportunities that we have.
01-02-2013 02:04 PM
Re: Mooring bouys

The cost of your mooring does not represent the true value of the privilege. Whether we like it or not our waters (and the land below) are owned in unison with all of the other citizens in our respective states. Each state handles it differently and in most New England towns, the control or policing of the harbors is done by the municipalities. We are subsidized in the sense that the value of what we enjoy (the mooring) is permitted to us at an artificially low rate so that the most amount of people can use the water. If the states or towns wanted to generate more income and/or have less moorings, they could charge the real value of moorings. So for example in Vineyard Haven, they could deliberately reduce moorings by a hundred and instead of charging the hundred or so dollars for a mooring permit, they could charge what the market would bear, and I imagine they could charge in the tens of thousands for single moorings. This would make more room for anchoring and would provide a lot more income for many harbors to pay for harbor maintenance and services. It would open up room for anchoring. But, the counterweight against doing this is the general legal requirement that the "people's" property should be enjoyed (imperfectly) by the most amount of people and that the people should not be excluded from what they collectively own. So the subsidization is the fact that we mooring holders in most locations are not paying the full value of what we have and the resultant cost (harbor maintenance, policing, etc) is borne by the general public. Similar to using public lands. I am not saying this is right or wrong. It is just the way it has developed legally and in practice on our shores.
01-02-2013 01:33 PM
Re: Mooring bouys

No one funded my mooring one bit.
01-02-2013 01:10 PM
Re: Mooring bouys

Originally Posted by GMC View Post
......Right now, we're being subsidized pretty heavily by the public, who expect us to be courteous about it, I think.
While I agree with the tone of being courteous, what is the public doing to heavily subsidize the private moorings? I hope you're not suggesting some great favor by not exercising their sovereign ability to tax whatever they like?

In abstract, who says anyone owns or controls a single drop of water from the shoreline. I'm not really arguing that society should have no say in the matter, but its important to be grounded in what we all feel entitled to. If I want to fund a cabin on the moon, who do I have to get permission from? How about the Arctic? Just trying to make a point.
01-02-2013 11:49 AM
Maine Sail
Re: Mooring bouys

Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
Apples and oranges.

We are all fully aware of what the real estate tax values are for an inland home compared to what they are at water front property that has the ability to build a deep water slip. We are talking exponential values here.

But the tax rate or "mil rate" is the same per thousand of assessed value so they are really being taxed the same. One home is more valuable in FMV than another due only to location or proximity value.. For example we pay about $19.00 per thousand in property tax. So does our neighbor who is across the street and "technically" on the water. She pays the same mil rate we do just that her home is worth more so she pays more in taxes..

Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
Let us not even begin to dig into the values that increase property tax when a structure such as a dock is built.
When we built our dock in Harpswell (actually got permitted to rebuild a decrepit and condemned structure) it added nothing to the property tax bill as the town did not feel it really changed our property's "value" as it was already waterfront and the land was valued accordingly by location. I am sure that in some states a dock does add FMV but the mil rate would be the same per thousand of assessed value as any other home. Most states have laws that stipulate how property taxes are levied and the vast majority are on assessed valuations in relation to FMV. A mil rate is then applied usually on a "per thousand" basis. California and some others do it differently but here in the NE most use the method I describe.

Here in Maine they tax the structure value, land value and outbuildings. In Maine there are no "adders" to calculate docks that I know of as it does not qualify as an outbuilding, structure or land.. Two summers ago our neighbors built a dock to the tune of 285K in cost. I just looked up their property tax bill and don't see that it changed at all from three years ago. That said different states likely have different ways of valuing waterfront property.

Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
Then you have the costs of building the actual dock. In some cases, more than the price of a modest home.
Docks are ungodly expensive to build these days. While expensive to build they are not usually taxed at anywhere near the cost to build them, if at all, at least here in Maine... When I built our barn it added $1200.00 to our overall property value but cost far more than that to build.

Figuring mil rates is complex and all we can say is that waterfront property will always be worth more than inland unless your house is about to erode off a cliff or barrier island. Houses in prime neighborhoods or prime "locations" will also have a higher assessed value even for the same physical size lot and structure. Put our house/lot out in Westbrook, ME and we're paying about 1/3 what we pay to be in Cumberland, ME because the "location" is worth a lot less........

I still don't know what any of this has to do with moorings.....
01-02-2013 11:19 AM
Re: Mooring bouys

Not a bit. Apparently we have on this thread people that think it is OK to grab my mooring and tell ME to find someplace else to go if I come back and/or anchor so close to it as to make it unusable and/or put ANOTHER mooring right next to it so as to make them both unusable just to prove they can.

*btw, if you ever do want to use my mooring, call the number I put on the ball and I'll tell you if it is OK or not

Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
It's more like building a duck blind on federal
land. Yea, OK, it's your wood and nails. But if someone is sitting in it when you come by, well, just ask them nicely to move. What's the big deal?

Are people really that worried that someone will, if I may quote Caddyshack, "scratch their anchor"?
01-02-2013 11:16 AM
Re: Mooring bouys

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
I understand your point I think in that you are saying no one has the right to limit acccess to the water ( parking space) correct?

Do we agree that a government agency has the right to allocate use of that water (space). We are not talking about channel obstruction here. ?

If the answer is no, then it would mean the only rights a home owner would retain would be the riparian rights ( land visable at low tide). That would then mean all docks and piers which extend out into open water water technically would be the same as that illegal morring wouldnt it?

The property owners building piers which extend into water 6-8 foot depths are no different than the person putting a morring ball in the same space correct? And therefore someone else who wants to can use them correct?

Apples and oranges.

We are all fully aware of what the real estate tax values are for an inland home compared to what they are at water front property that has the ability to build a deep water slip. We are talking exponential values here.

Let us not even begin to dig into the values that increase property tax when a structure such as a dock is built.

Then you have the costs of building the actual dock. In some cases, more than the price of a modest home.

I don't think we want to go down that road. Someone bureaucrat may be reading this and get some ideas....
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome