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Old 02-02-2015, 09:55   #46
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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I think it highly unlikely the boat would be impounded unless the owner showed a significant history of illegally avoiding taxes. I've lived and boated in FL and GA for over 40 years and boats being impounded for failure to pay the state registration or property tax (only an issue in GA since there is none in FL) are pretty rare. So rare that I have never personally heard of a case. Not saying it has never happened.
Both states have sales tax. How many people do you know that kept their boat there without registering it or paying the sales tax anywhere? Are you suggesting they have no enforcement capability?

Have you known anyone in this situation? What was the enforcement activity in such a case?
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:00   #47
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Mike,
thank you, your opinion is of course relevant - more so given your professional path. If I were to interpret the law as it is written, I would also have to agree. In any case, I am hoping for a definitive and authoritative answer from the office of the comptroller. I will give them 48 hours to answer my email, then I will follow up by phone. As you folks may have noticed, I am somewhat persistent.

It is, by the by, absolutely true that there are a very significant number of US flagged vessels without GA stickers who spend more than 60 days at Brunswick Landing marina. I may have mentioned that someone (...) advised that SOP is to simply ignore the issue.

In my specific case, things are complicated by the fact that I am not, nor do I intend to be, a permanent US resident. The boat is also in a corporate structure and when I asked the non-free people what I should do (they receive quite a non-free salary to provide me with non-free advice) they told me that the best thing I could do, considering the fact that the boat will be spending years abroad, is to stay within the law but avoid accumulating state registrations. When and if she sails back, she can either do so with a US flag or with a different flag if I elect to change it in the meantime - but that's years down the line.

I mention this to explain - just 'paying for the new registration and moving on' is not the best way to do this.
Fabio,

Why not just move the boat 60 miles south to Amelia Island or somewhere else in NE Florida? Weather is just as nice. Low cost marinas are available. Fernandina is not far from the Jacksonville airport AND you will not have a state property tax to deal with.

You would be required to get a FL registration if you stay longer than 90 days but that is cheap, maybe $100-$200 depending on the boat.

Unless the FL regulations have recently changed then

IF:
- you were not previously a FL resident
- purchased and used the boat outside of FL for at 6 months
- then move to FL with the boat

then you are also exempt from the 6% FL sales tax.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:12   #48
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

In Charleston SC we have a private citizen who has made it his life's work to go around looking for boats that may not be paying their fair share of taxes. He has a small boat and goes around marinas and anchorages taking notes and photos. Then he goes to council meetings and reports his findings.

He turned in a large yacht that owed nearly $300K for one year's property taxes.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:14   #49
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
In Charleston SC we have a private citizen who has made it his life's work to go around looking for boats that may not be paying their fair share of taxes. He has a small boat and goes around marinas and anchorages taking notes and photos. Then he goes to council meetings and reports his findings.

He turned in a large yacht that owed nearly $300K for one year's property taxes.
I thought this thread was about Georgia....pay attention.

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:19   #50
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Why not just move the boat 60 miles south to Amelia Island or somewhere else in NE Florida? Weather is just as nice. Low cost marinas are available. Fernandina is not far from the Jacksonville airport AND you will not have a state property tax to deal with.
I suppose it makes sense to figure out how many flights would add up to just paying the tax. At some figure, tax avoidance just becomes tax evasion, so it probably depends on the value of the boat.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:44   #51
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

A first piece of advice arrived, incredibly promptly, from the office of the comptroller.

As far as they are concerned, the only limit that raises any tax concern is that of 184 or more days, contiguous or not, in the solar year.

Thus, from their perspective, I could stay there from Jan 1 to Apr 30, well beyond when I intend to leave, and not incur any tax liability.

I have now asked the further, and separate, question about registration and will also ask the wildlife dept. about their thoughts on the matter. If, as I expect, they have no objection, then I will spend two days in Florida per my plan, then head back to Brunswick. I play by the book, when the rules are reasonable and clear and I was delighted to find out that in this case they were.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:47   #52
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

Skipmac, that is an option, but I would have to be on the outside of the breakwater of the Fernandina marina (the boat is 61' and draws 11.5') and it's too choppy there to stay for more than one or two days. I will, however, be headed exactly there for my 'break'.

By the by, the alternative would be to come to the City Marina in Charleston, SC, which rwidman may be familiar with, from his location. To be frank, that's another case of 'too choppy for my taste'. I have noticed a distressing lack of breakwaters on the E coast.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:59   #53
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

letsgetsailing, you're a bit off the mark.

The boat left US waters some 12 years ago and has been DE registered even longer. I recently purchased it outside US waters.
The boat is passing through US waters, having entered in FL in late November and having stayed there on the hard for maintenance (thus exempt of the 90 day limit, by the by) until mid-December. I then put it in the water and sailed it to the only marina with adequate fetch / wave protection I could find in a 300nm radius. I would rather keep it at said marina until then but I will comply with any and all legal requirements. If that requires me taking a plane over and sailing to FL for three days I will do so. If that requires me to move to the City Marina in SC, I will do that, but I would rather not because I like the surrounding water less (though the marina is probably better and the food definitely is, the flight connections are better, etc).

The boat will then leave US waters before the end of April and spend at least 5 (probably more like 10) years in the Med, where I usually spend the summer.

I am not, as I said, a US resident. When I do spend time stateside - and it happens quite often - I live in the NE, but I have no intention, for now, of taking or keeping the boat there.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:01   #54
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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Originally Posted by lfabio View Post
Skipmac, that is an option, but I would have to be on the outside of the breakwater of the Fernandina marina (the boat is 61' and draws 11.5') and it's too choppy there to stay for more than one or two days. I will, however, be headed exactly there for my 'break'.

By the by, the alternative would be to come to the City Marina in Charleston, SC, which rwidman may be familiar with, from his location. To be frank, that's another case of 'too choppy for my taste'. I have noticed a distressing lack of breakwaters on the E coast.
11.5' draft. Holy Mackerel. Guess I missed that little tidbit of information. No wonder you're being so picky about where to park it. Options for that size are certainly limited.

I spent a weekend at the Charleston City Marina and it wasn't choppy at all, at least in the slip where I was tied up. What is an issue is the current. As the tide changes it can hit 3 kts through the marina. Just in the weekend I was there saw two fender benders just on my dock. Unless you're on the outside dock or have a really maneuverable boat (twin engines or thrusters or both) I would recommend waiting for slack tide.

I did really like the marina. If you need parts West Marine delivers to the marina. There's lots of great places to eat nearby. Nice town overall. Lots more going on than in Brunswick.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:18   #55
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

This entire thread is fascinating and shocking to me. I have only owned boats while in Florida so the idea that a state can charge an ad velorum tax on anything other than a house is flooring. Its clearly an unfair tax and you should move the boat. I would NEVER give in to that level of tyranny. Hell in 1776 we fought and wiped out the largest army on Earth because of taxes like this.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:28   #56
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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letsgetsailing, you're a bit off the mark.

The boat left US waters some 12 years ago and has been DE registered even longer. I recently purchased it outside US waters.
The boat is passing through US waters, having entered in FL in late November and having stayed there on the hard for maintenance (thus exempt of the 90 day limit, by the by) until mid-December. I then put it in the water and sailed it to the only marina with adequate fetch / wave protection I could find in a 300nm radius. I would rather keep it at said marina until then but I will comply with any and all legal requirements. If that requires me taking a plane over and sailing to FL for three days I will do so. If that requires me to move to the City Marina in SC, I will do that, but I would rather not because I like the surrounding water less (though the marina is probably better and the food definitely is, the flight connections are better, etc).

The boat will then leave US waters before the end of April and spend at least 5 (probably more like 10) years in the Med, where I usually spend the summer.

I am not, as I said, a US resident. When I do spend time stateside - and it happens quite often - I live in the NE, but I have no intention, for now, of taking or keeping the boat there.
No, you didn't say you weren't a U.S. resident, you said you weren't a Georgia resident. In fact, you also said you were a resident of the state of Washington. The registration of the prior owner is no longer relevant, so unless you registered it somewhere it isn't registered anywhere.

I suppose another relevant question is "Where is the boat currently titled or registered?" or is that what you're trying to figure out? Is it Coast Guard documented?
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:32   #57
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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This entire thread is fascinating and shocking to me. I have only owned boats while in Florida so the idea that a state can charge an ad velorum tax on anything other than a house is flooring. Its clearly an unfair tax and you should move the boat. I would NEVER give in to that level of tyranny. Hell in 1776 we fought and wiped out the largest army on Earth because of taxes like this.
In Florida, they charge sales taxes, which is part of what we're talking about here.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:58   #58
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

letsgetsailing,
you have me confused for someone else. I never said I was a resident of Washington, most certainly, and a few posts prior on the previous page I had mentioned not being a US resident.

I know where the boat is registered - and I wrote as much, it's in DE. It is not Coast Guard documented, the prior owner didn't do that. I'll have to decide whether it's worth it or whether to change flag entirely.

skipmac, noted on City Marina. Unfortunately, I have one engine, comparatively small for the weight of the boat, and no bowthruster. She's also new to me, I bought her recently, so my confidence at present is low. I would have to be ... extremely careful to attempt an interesting mooring.
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Old 02-02-2015, 13:37   #59
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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This entire thread is fascinating and shocking to me. I have only owned boats while in Florida so the idea that a state can charge an ad velorum tax on anything other than a house is flooring. Its clearly an unfair tax and you should move the boat. I would NEVER give in to that level of tyranny. Hell in 1776 we fought and wiped out the largest army on Earth because of taxes like this.
You will "give in to that level of tyrany" or have your boat sized and sold for unpaid taxes.

The courts ruled long ago that governments can levy and collect taxes. In the case of boats (and cars and motorcycles) they may collect sales tax, personal property tax or a combination of boat. I don't understand why you would think a house is special.

As for the 1776 thing, that was taxation without representation. Now we have representation. We vote for the people who tax us. That's your history lesson for today.
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Old 02-02-2015, 13:37   #60
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Re: Use taxes in Georgia

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I thought this thread was about Georgia....pay attention.

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