Re: US State taxes

Mark Erdos



Since the boat is USA flagged and should you decide to take it to the USA, you will be required to pay Use tax (sales and use) in the state where the boat is located after a specific period of time unless you can prove an equal amount of sales and use tax was paid to another state. The state tax is independent of the US registration and homeport. The tax and state registration is normally due after a stay between 60 or 90 days and varies by state. There are two exceptions on the east coast: Delaware and Rhode Island are both tax free for boats. Florida has a limit on the amount of taxes charged of $18,000. North Carolina ($1500) and South Carolina ($300) have limits in the tax. However NC and SC charge property taxes on vessels located in the state but still these taxes can be significantly less than other east coast states.


Several cruisers we met in the Chesapeake Bay had vessel registrations in the tax friendly states. To avoid being snagged by MD or VA tax collectors, they moved their boats within the allotted timeframes. Basically they shuttled between MD and VA being sure to collect a receipt for a marina or boat fuel as proof of being there.


VA is the more friendly tax state in the Chesapeake verses Maryland with a 2% tax. However, this is only the state part. Some VA counties charge personal property tax on boats. I forget which counties but I recall some boaters moving their boats out of a county on a specific day/month to avoid the property assessment. A quick conversation with another boater in a VA marina will help.


A real pet peeve of mine: A boat pays sales and use tax in state, let’s say 5%. Then the owner of the boat moves to vessel to another state a few years later, registers the boat and the tax is 7%. The new state can require the difference of tax to be paid. If the vessel moves from a state where it paid personal property taxes, these taxes do not count as a credit toward the new states sales and use tax. The additional 2% is now due to the new state even though the vessel never changed ownership. Boats are subject to limits on how long they can stay in states without local registration. However, an RV can stay in the all states permanently so long as it is registered in one of the 50 US states.  RVers register their RV in tax friendly state where renewals can be done by mail and avoid the mess we have to deal with. Rant over.






With best regards,





Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Santa Marta, Colombia


From: [] On Behalf Of Paul Cooper via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, March 3, 2019 10:41 PM
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] US State taxes


The boat is registered US.  But after further consideration we have decided not to bring the boat up to the US this year.  Thanks for your replies and interest.


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