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Old 12-09-2013, 16:37   #1
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Title/ Registration and Tax in CA, NV or AZ

I bought a boat in NV. My principal residence is in CA. I own a vacation home in AZ. The boat will never be leaving AZ, but if I register it in AZ I have to register it as a non resident registration which is much higher than CA. Does anyone know whether I should register the boat in CA or AZ? Which has lower fees?

I also need to pay sales tax for the state I choose. Which state has the lower sales tax?
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Old 12-09-2013, 20:11   #2
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For California, you cannot register a vessel unless you state that it is physically located in California.
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Old 13-09-2013, 06:31   #3
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Re: Title/ Registration and Tax in CA, NV or AZ

I don't know the rules in AZ (I'm sure they're available with a google search), but most states will require you to register the boat in their state if you keep it there for more than a certain amount of time (typically somewhere between 30 and 180 days). Hence, it is probable that, if you keep the boat in AZ, you will have no choice but to register it in AZ.
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Old 13-09-2013, 06:53   #4
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Re: Title/ Registration and Tax in CA, NV or AZ

If your boat is trailerable it's improbable Arizona will know, unless you either tell them or you keep the boat in a marina where they'll either be informed by the marina or picked up by a roving assessor, that your boat is there.

If the boat is trailerable I'd register in California. Fees are fair and renewable every two or three years.
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Old 13-09-2013, 07:17   #5
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Re: Title/ Registration and Tax in CA, NV or AZ

If you are trying to minimize your total tax costs you should also consider the annual property tax which some states (not all!) charge on boats. CA I believe does charge so factor that in to your decision.
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Old 13-09-2013, 07:34   #6
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Re: Title/ Registration and Tax in CA, NV or AZ

While trailering my boat back to Washington State I paused to enjoy the S.F Bay area. I offloaded the boat and obtained a temporarily slip at the Oakland Yacht Club. My boat ended up on the Alameda tax role and no amount of protest - including the fact my boat was primarily kept in Washington State - helped. I ended up paying nearly $400 in property tax. However, I have never once received a property tax assessment from San Diego where my boat has been registered for 15 years. Go figger.
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Old 13-09-2013, 07:38   #7
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Re: Title/ Registration and Tax in CA, NV or AZ

Someone said California fees are fair. The registration fees are fair, but the Annual 1% Unsecured Property Tax on the assessed value of the vessel is high. An example is on a $30k boat you pay around $300 per year Unsecured Property Tax plus any local county assessments.

You should be able to avoid Unsecured Property tax by providing to the Tax Assessor that the vessel is not located in California.

Also in California, DMV will require you to pay the difference in Sales Tax between California and Nevada, which will be another 2-3% depending on where you live and that cannot be avoid by keeping the vessel out of state.

According to Arizona Non-Resident fees are fairly cheap in compassion to the above, but I could not find out why if you own property in Arizona, why you have to register as a Non Resident?
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