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Old 06-09-2010, 10:59   #1
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Exiting California - Tax Question

Presently we are paying a 1% per year tax on our boat which is slipped in Southern California. We are taking the boat to Mexico for several years and would prefer not to pay the 1% tax. Any forum members have any luck getting the State of California to stop sending tax bills after taking their boat out of the country.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:18   #2
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If I remember correctly, Latitude 38 did an extensive article about this issue approx a yr ago. you might try their web site archive articles
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:21   #3
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Congratulations in getting out from under this states heavy tax burden.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:51   #4
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It isn't the State which taxes you, it is the county and it is a personal property tax. Go to the county tax office and speak with them. The tax period goes from Jan 1 to Dec 31, so if your boat was in that county during that time you get taxed; so, if leaving in September, you will still owe the tax (probably already paid) for this year. Sometimes receipts from abroad - especially marina receipts if you stay in them - will show that your boat was out of the county for an entire calendar year. It helps if you do not live in California during this period but that should not be required.

Sometimes nothing seems to work :-(

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Old 06-09-2010, 13:56   #5
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Go to the county tax office and let them know the date you are leaving. There is no partial refund for the Personal Use Tax. Write the marina a letter canceling your slip moorage and get an acknowledgement in writing from them. The County folks will not only check the marina's books but walk the docks noting every vessel berthed there during their January walk through. I got trapped many years ago by holding onto my slip while I was cruising Mexico for several years and when I tried to sort out the issue with the County Tax folks after they put a lien against my boat, the fact that I showed them continuous moorage receipts from Mexico from a number of marinas through the years meant nothing to them. Their position was, 'pay the tax and penalties and if you fight it, you will pay more in attorneys fees and court costs than your tax'. I took their advice. Had a similar experience on sales tax with the Franchise Tax Board. Even though I purchased the boat in Washington State, cruised Canadian waters for 6 months before cruising down to San Diego, they still felt I owed sales tax several years later. Fortunately, I had marina receipts, fuel bills, and repair receipts to show that the vessel was indeed purchased out of state and remained out of state for over the required 3 months. It was difficult to reconstruct the entire stay outside of California but I eventually convinced them I was telling the truth and knew the law. I no longer live in California and am not interested in even visiting the state. Considering what they spend your tax dollars on, it is a good place to avoid.
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Old 06-09-2010, 14:01   #6
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I no longer live in California and am not interested in even visiting the state. Considering what they spend your tax dollars on, it is a good place to avoid.

I was born and grew up in California, and lived there most of my life. And I agree with you....maybe someday if adults start running the place again it will be worth living there. But before then, there's going to be lots of pain fixing it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 15:34   #7
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Having had enough of the over regulation and excessive taxation, we left California in early 1992 for the west coast of Florida which was then much like SoCal was in the late 60's and early 1970's. Despite having given up our slip at Alamitos Bay Marina, selling our home; and, having sent numerous letters to the Franchise Tax Board and LA County Tax Assessor--several of which included copies of our Florida Driver's Licenses, Florida Vehicle and Boat Registrations; Florida Property Tax Notices with Homestead Exemptions; and, Florida Voter's Registration Cards--both agencies persisted in sending notices and tax demands until, roughly, 1997. The County actually reported a property "Tax Lien" for the boat to TransUnion (which had it on my credit report until just a few years ago) and during one conversation with the County Tax Assessor's office I was warned that if I didn't pay their tax demands, a warrant would be issued for my arrest, so I had better not come back to the State, ever.

Just go. Pay whatever taxes are due up to the point you leave and ignor the subsequent demands.

FWIW...
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Old 06-09-2010, 17:24   #8
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From the personnel experience that I had, I'd suggest doing what I did. First ignore everyone's advice and theories. Next go to Your counties Property Tax Office and explain what you plan on doing. Each County has their own procedures which may differ from county to county. Next follow your county's advice to insure they know that your boat has been removed from their county. The people you deal with are human beings just like you and me and try to help you obey the law, trust me on this.
In my case my marina notified our Counhty Property Tax Office (Alameda) and I never heard from them.

I just deleted a whole bunch of stuff about peoples atitudes. Not being rude on this forum is sometimes hard. --sighi
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Old 06-09-2010, 17:36   #9
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From the personnel experience that I had, I'd suggest doing what I did. First ignore everyone's advice and theories. Next go to Your counties Property Tax Office and explain what you plan on doing. Each County has their own procedures which may differ from county to county. Next follow your county's advice to insure they know that your boat has been removed from their county. The people you deal with are human beings just like you and me and try to help you obey the law, trust me on this.
In my case my marina notified our Counhty Property Tax Office (Alameda) and I never heard from them.

I just deleted a whole bunch of stuff about peoples atitudes. Not being rude on this forum is sometimes hard. --sighi
I've had the same experience. I worked directly with the county tax assessor, had the marina provide documentation of my departure, and had no problems whatsoever. Like John A, I found the human being on the other end to be helpful, friendly and completely professional.
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Old 06-09-2010, 17:50   #10
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I was born and grew up in California, and lived there most of my life. And I agree with you....maybe someday if adults start running the place again it will be worth living there. But before then, there's going to be lots of pain fixing it.
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Having had enough of the over regulation and excessive taxation, we left California in early 1992 for the west coast of Florida which was then much like SoCal was in the late 60's and early 1970's

I have no opinion on the matter - unless you count my screen name...

California weather is awesome!

However if you draw parrallel lines of latitude at about 32N-42N and 32S-42S you can find a lot of places with similar weather...
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