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Old 11-07-2018, 20:26   #1
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California tax on transiting boat

Curious if anyone has dealt with this before. We left Seattle after retirement via our boat to Alaska. Late that summer we worked our way down the coast.

We decided to leave the boat in Chula Vista Marina November, December, and left for Mexico third week in January.

We are not returning to California. The boat is currently in Puerto Vallarta with plans to cross the Pacific in the spring.

The issue, I got an $900 tax bill from San Diego county. Tax on personal property.

It sounds like the tax should be on boats permanently in California.

Has anyone dealt with this? If so how?
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Old 11-07-2018, 20:34   #2
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

Not familiar with CA personal property taxes, but a number of states require marinas to send the state a list of the boats berthed in the marinas on a given date, often Jan 1. They then send a tax bill to the owners. I would contact the San Diego tax office and appeal the tax. I assume the address you gave the marina was not in not in CA.

John
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Old 11-07-2018, 20:55   #3
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

Welcome to California. Property tax is based on the county your boat resides in on jan. 1 of each year. Does not matter where you live. If the boat is there on jan 1 the tax will be due, generally by aug 31.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:13   #4
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

It’s a documented boat outside of California. The previous 20 something years moored In Washington State.

The trip down the coast part of the retirement tour. There was never any intent to permanently moor the boat in California. If you read the law, intent is addressed. If you are benefiting from tax funded programs in California, then you need to help pay for them.

If you are just passing through, I shouldn’t have to pay the tax.

If I had been in a private marina vs a county owned marina, I would not have been assessed.

So I’m curious if anyone has been in the same situation and what they did about it.

DW
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:31   #5
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

Welcome to California. If you’re boat was in a marina anywhere in California during the tax assessment period, the tax is due in the eyes of the California government. When we were transients there eight years ago, I anchored out during the tax assessment months. But when I finally landed a primo berth in Shoreline Village, Long Beach, I got the tax bill. Our boat was documented in Oregon at the time and we lived in Massachusetts.

It doesn’t matter where you live or where the boat is documented.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:41   #6
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

Oh Cali, how she has changed since I was a kid listening to the beach boys. I'm a little concerned I may get a tax bill from California just for reading this thread.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:41   #7
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

They come into private marinas too.

I believe if you can provide receipts before and after showing that THE BOAT was not in-state for more than 90d you can get off the hook.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:59   #8
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

I had a similar "fight" with both San Diego and Orange County. The CA Vessel Assessment Handbook Reprint 2015 [should be included as an attachment] gave me the insight to beat them at their own game. I'd recommend page 35 / Chapter 5: Situs as a starting point. Start with a phone call to the Assessment Office and prepared to show all slip rental receipts for a period of time [in my case 2 years], maintenance bills, bottom cleaning receipts etc. I overwhelmed them with information and got the bill dismissed. Be patient and persistent. Good luck...
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File Type: pdf CA Vessel Assessment Handbook Reprint 2015 ah576.pdf (441.7 KB, 57 views)
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:03   #9
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Welcome to California. Property tax is based on the county your boat resides in on jan. 1 of each year. Does not matter where you live. If the boat is there on jan 1 the tax will be due, generally by aug 31.
Log Entry, Jan 1, I am sailing 3 miles out, transiting out of Calif on a course of ..., making 5 knots.
Considering the Ship's log is considered a legal record, go for it, appeal.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:25   #10
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

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Log Entry, Jan 1, I am sailing 3 miles out, transiting out of Calif on a course of ..., making 5 knots.
Considering the Ship's log is considered a legal record, go for it, appeal.
Nice try but won’t work. The tax bill is based on a Caifornia county appraiser having seen the boat in a marina slip. They actually tour the marinas and see the boats personally Monday thru Friday during the tax period which lasts two months. The tour is unannounced.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:57   #11
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

let the sd taxman know how many months your boat was actually in sd county. they will readjust your bill accordingly.
they assessed me for time i wasnot even in sd, but i was able to prove i was not in sd county and all was gone.
best o lucks
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:04   #12
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by snorry View Post
I had a similar "fight" with both San Diego and Orange County. The CA Vessel Assessment Handbook Reprint 2015 [should be included as an attachment] gave me the insight to beat them at their own game. I'd recommend page 35 / Chapter 5: Situs as a starting point. Start with a phone call to the Assessment Office and prepared to show all slip rental receipts for a period of time [in my case 2 years], maintenance bills, bottom cleaning receipts etc. I overwhelmed them with information and got the bill dismissed. Be patient and persistent. Good luck...
This is very helpful. There is a proviso for temporary vs permanent situ. I think I can provide documentation our stay in California was temporary.

Thanks for posting this.

DW
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:48   #13
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
let the sd taxman know how many months your boat was actually in sd county. they will readjust your bill accordingly.
they assessed me for time i wasnot even in sd, but i was able to prove i was not in sd county and all was gone.
best o lucks
The bill is for July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. I left January 26, 2018.

How much do you think they reduce it? Will they bill me going forward?
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:59   #14
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

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Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
The bill is for July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. I left January 26, 2018.

How much do you think they reduce it? Will they bill me going forward?
Guess you have to promise them, you will never again enter Calf State waters.
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Old 12-07-2018, 13:10   #15
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Re: California tax on transiting boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
The bill is for July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. I left January 26, 2018.



How much do you think they reduce it? Will they bill me going forward?


If you don’t deal with them they will keep assessing you and they may deny relief for previous tax periods if you don’t start contesting them in a timely manner.
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