Originally Posted by Euro Cruiser
I think some of the prior comments on taxes not being an issue for you is incorrect for the state of Florida. By far the best thing to do when having questions about what the state's 'use tax' and annual registration requirements are for foreign-registered vessels spending more than 90 days in the state of Florida is to call and talk with the Tax Collector for the county in which you plan to leave the boat. Each tax collector also has a website and some of them are excellent and provide a lot of relevant info. Jacksonville has a combined city/county govt. structure and is in Duval County. Indiantown is in Martin County.
Call (skype) one of these tax collectors for tax-related info. I think you'll find you are responsible to annually register your vessel for use of FL's waterways (I'm not referring to State registration that establishes legal
title for the vessel, but rather registration for vessels nationally documented or registered), as this is a source of funds for managing Florida's waters. However, once in this system you may well be tagged by the state to pay a 'use tax' that's similar to sales tax. Like I say...call one of the County Tax Collectors for the full story. My home port is in Pinellas County and I've found that tax collector to always provide full, objective information - so consider that a referral based on 20 years of past experience with that office.
Diane Nelson, CFC, Pinellas County Tax Collector - Vehicle and Vessel Registration
Good luck. You're picking a pretty hot, humid time to be in Florida.
There are two separate issues in Florida that can result in taxes or fees
to a boat owner, vessel title and vessel registration. If the vessel is federally documented or has a valid title or documentation
from another state or country then the vessel will not be Florida state titled.
No matter where the vessel is titled or documented, if it stays in the state of Florida for more than 90 days the vessel is required to pay Florida vessel registration. This does not effect the title or documentation
of the vessel or even the registration of the vessel in another state.
may vary with the county but the requirements and exemptions are established state wide.
I verified all this information directly from state of Florida web sites and personally confirmed the details and my understanding of these with phone
calls to the relevant agencies.
1. Registration requirements and fees.
Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
"Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use his vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector. However, he may retain the out-of-state registration number if he plans to return to his home state within a reasonable period of time."
2. Sales and Use taxes
"Sales Tax - All boats sold and/or delivered in this state are subject to Florida’s 6 percent sales and use tax, unless exempt."
"Use Tax - Use tax is a component of Florida’s sales and use tax law. Use tax and surtax apply to taxable goods and services that you bring into Florida untaxed or taxed at a rate less than Florida’s 6 percent rate. We allow a credit for lawfully imposed taxes paid to another state, a U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia
. We do not allow credit for taxes paid to another country.
Discretionary sales surtax is also due on the first $5,000 of these purchases. Example: If you purchase a boat in a state that has a sales tax rate of 4 percent, you will have to pay an additional 2 percent when you bring the boat into Florida."
3. Exemptions from sales and use tax
"Foreign Flagged Vessels
Boats flying a foreign flag are exempt from Florida use tax if they have a current license
issued by the U.S. Customs Service
. Licenses to cruise
are available only to boats
flagged in countries that have a treaty with the United States. The boat will remain exempt as
long as you do not violate the provisions of the license
"Use tax and surtax are not due on boats brought to Florida if you meet all of the following
• You own the boat 6 months or longer, and
• You have shown no intent to use the boat in Florida at or before the time of purchase,
• The boat has been in use 6 months or longer within the taxing jurisdiction of another
state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia
. Time spent in foreign waters does not
count as part of the 6-month period."