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Old 14-01-2009, 04:42   #46
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My question is only substantive if my assumption that officials in fl assume vessels must be registered somewhere is correct. I am concerned with buying a documented vessel, with no state registration ( because I bought it in sc) , and having problems when I move it to fl
Using your terms of registration what you do in SC means absolutely nothing to FL state requirements and every other state too. Think of it this way. If your boat is in FL for 90 days (not considering the exclusions) your boat is required to pay just as if it was there full time even if you never were there yourself for more than an afternoon. You would owe all the FL taxes at that point.

Only Use Tax is considered across state borders. Some states it's different on the calendar periods and when the time period can be reset back to zero. VA is like SC with some subtle differences.

There are also periods of time for titles if you are not US Documented too. The title requirements are state by state and are not connected to taxes other than the state tittle information can flow to state tax collectors. State titles require only one state per boat at any one time.

Don't forget the dinghy! It is a second boat not attached or connected to your main boat legally unless it is without power. Getting screwed over the dinghy happens. State titles are always required after a calendar period too as well as all the fees that come with them.

The confusing part is all states are just a little different even when similar. Issues like exclusions are very subtle as well. It's why there isn't a uniform set of procedures you can follow and be excluded for all but one state. It's also how you can get your boat all wrapped up in paperwork. I've been cursed on every dinghy I ever bought that came with the boat.

If you are going to move around state to state you must get into the details of each state plus get updated information at least before you enter a state so you don't do something by accident.
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Old 14-01-2009, 05:52   #47
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gdecon,

Here's what the State of Florida says on the issue...

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Use tax may become due when a boat is required to be titled and/or registered in Florida. Florida titling and/or registration is required:
  • Within 30 days after purchase.
  • Within 90 days after the boat enters Florida, if it is currently documented, titled, and/or registered in another state.
A boat that remains in Florida for more than 90 consecutive days or more than 183 days in a one-year period is presumed taxable, unless it qualifies for another exemption.
The definitive state website on the issue is here (compliments of a post by GordMay in another thread on the same topic) FL Dept Rev - Sales and Use Tax on Boats - Owners and Purchasers
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Old 14-01-2009, 12:04   #48
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gd, as I read the Floriduh regs, they DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION OF BOATS. What they require is registration of MOTOR VEHICLES.

And you have to understand, your sailboat may be classed as either or both of those categories. If you have a permanently affixed mechanical engine or propulision system other than sails--Floriduh requires registration as a motor vehicle, which co-incidentally is a boat.

And if it is something not entirely unreasonable (25? 30? years) you get "antique" status and a break on the fees as well.

Most if not all states require that any motor vehicle which is kept in that state for more than 90 days, be registered IN THAT STATE. Car, boat, whatever, there's a time limit and if you cross it--you are usually legally required to change your registration and get involved with whatever that entails.

Vessels don't "have to be registered" at all. STATES require vehicles to be registered, and that means you do what the state you are in requires. Keep your vessel out of the restrictive states--and maybe you don't have to register it. Unless you are a resident of a state which imposes more regulations on YOU, including requiring you to pay use tax or register a vehicle.

Boats are just property. Regulations can hit them--and you--from many angles. Your residency, your citizenship, your doimicile, your tax status...all these things will be involved.
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Old 14-01-2009, 12:39   #49
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Hellosailor, That's an interesting observation. Do you know how Florida enforces this law on RVs and automobiles? I see lots of RVs and automobiles from other states and Canada arriving in Florida every fall and returning north in the spring. None of them seem to be sporting new Florida license tags when they're headed north, and I'll bet a lot of them have been in Florida for more than 90 days. I've never heard of the police in Florida stopping vehicles with out of state plates and asking them how long they have been in Florida.
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Old 14-01-2009, 13:03   #50
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Bill, all states are fairly lax about enforcing it on cars and most are much more stringent on boats--because long term boats usually can be spotted by walking the docks, or simply asking the marinas for a copy of all their long-term dockage contracts. In some states the marinas co-operate with the tax departments, and won't even give you an annual or 6-month contract unless you show them an in-state registration to prove you've paid the taxes.

With a car, you typically have to make a nuisance of yourself and have someone report the car. Or, trigger an insurance claim that gets investigated--and as a result someone looks into just where the car has been, and for how long.

In some states you deal with 90 days and you can reset the timer by going out of state for as little as one day. In others, it may be "no more than 90 days in one year" or other terms.

Folks seem to have swallowed the "one nation" line, hook line and sinker. It ain't. It is 50 sovereign states, and we are SUPPPOSED to have different laws in each state. Even if the fast food franchises have made us look like one uniform town in the past 40-odd years.
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Old 14-01-2009, 13:29   #51
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You're right about the Florida authorities, and those in other landing spots for snowbirds, overlooking RVs staying in their jurisdictions for more than the various state maxima without re-registering the vehicle there. This would apply to the cars that the RVers often tow behind their big Class A motorhomes, as well, but I think the reason that these states turn a blind eye is understandable - typical RVers impose little burden on state resources, yet inject a large dose of capital into local economies.

Incidentally, have you ever noticed that a disproportionately large number of RVs sport South Dakota, Montana or Oregon tags? Have you ever wondered why?

Given the shortfalls in many states' budgets, currently, don't be surprised if some dim bulbs in state government put forward the notion that the state should enforce the limits as a way of generating additional revenue. After all, it's probably even easier to cruise the RV parks than it is to walk the docks.

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Old 14-01-2009, 13:52   #52
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The interesting challenge here is that to register your car in a state, you have to title it in state. I assume that means you have to insure it in the state as well. Can you imagine the uproar if they started making car and RV owners jump through those hoops every three months. With regards to impact on state resources I would think that cruisers would put less of an impact on state resources than RV's, after all they don't have to redredge the ICW every 5 years like they have to repave the interstates. I would guess that the average cruiser in Florida waters contributes as much to the local economies as the typical RVer. When I'm down there I buy my food, fuel, parts, and anything else I need in Florida. When I rent a slip for a week or a couple of Months I don't pay someone in South Dakota.
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Old 14-01-2009, 14:05   #53
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"large number of RVs sport South Dakota, Montana or Oregon tags? "
Fast Guess #1- They have low registration and tax rates?
Fast Guess #2 - They're all lost and all the city slickers won't help them get back home?

Bill-
"Can you imagine the uproar if they started making car and RV owners jump through those hoops every three months." Ah, but how many of those RVs really sit in one place as opposed to touring? With boats, boat owners bragged LOUDLY for MANY YEARS about beating the tax man by using Delaware registrations. Well...you pull the tiger's tail often off, you gotta deal with the tiger.
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Old 14-01-2009, 14:48   #54
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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
The interesting challenge here is that to register your car in a state, you have to title it in state. I assume that means you have to insure it in the state as well. Can you imagine the uproar if they started making car and RV owners jump through those hoops every three months. With regards to impact on state resources I would think that cruisers would put less of an impact on state resources than RV's, after all they don't have to redredge the ICW every 5 years like they have to repave the interstates. I would guess that the average cruiser in Florida waters contributes as much to the local economies as the typical RVer. When I'm down there I buy my food, fuel, parts, and anything else I need in Florida. When I rent a slip for a week or a couple of Months I don't pay someone in South Dakota.
I think your observation is right, Bill, and most boaters probably have a similar understanding, so the question is: Why are the RVers ignored while the boaters are persecuted (in the boaters' eyes)?

I think it's simply that so many people who live in Florida, either full-time or part-time, are there for the climate and the waterfront, and, essentially, they have their backsides turned to the RVers, but the boaters are right in their line-of-sight.

"What the hell is that damned sailboat from Delaware doing "parked" in my view of the ocean!?" they scream, and browbeat their local authorities to "do something" about it.

It hardly matters that the screamers are probably from elsewhere, as well. They may even be boaters themselves, but they can remember when they pretty much had it all to themselves. This phenomenon of the last guy in wanting to lock the gate behind him is apparent in any desirable location - Aspen, Martha's Vineyard, St. Barth's.

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Fast Guess #1- They have low registration and tax rates?

Fast Guess #2 - They're all lost and all the city slickers won't help them get back home?
For Fast Guess #1, an A+. For Fast Guess #2, extra credit for originality!

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Old 02-04-2009, 19:31   #55
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I just found about this week. Last year I spent the winter in Florida, same as this year. Well I have gotten a letter from The State of Maryland I owe the tax + 100% penelty Ok so I fax DNR my dock recipts fro Fl. He called back Says I spent 170 days in Florida so that means I must have spent 190 day in maryland. Bear in mine I arrived at the dock on the chesapeake may 20th The letter from dnr states I am liable as of may 23 Dam they found me in 3 days. So I say I have a trawler so I took a month to travel both ways, don't matter you owe, but we will waive the fine. So I could fight it but.. If I lose back comes the 100% fine Oh yea my boat had Delaware regulation and I HAVE both DE. and MD. address What to do?
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Old 02-04-2009, 20:20   #56
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The crux of the matter is where is the boat primarily used?

You are referring to May 20th?

The boat is registered in Delaware?

And you are keeping it in Maryland?

Keep in mind that the time calculation is not one chunk, it is a total time in a year....90 days

www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/registration
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Old 02-04-2009, 20:25   #57
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Oh yea my boat had Delaware regulation and I HAVE both DE. and MD. address What to do?
No one cares where you live. It's where the boat lives that counts. Hiding in Delaware is it's own punishment. They clearly beat you on that one. Taxes are one of those loop holes where you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent. It is at least a simple process in government - it's only about the money and nothing else. They really don't want to change what you believe in. They can be flexible - if you pay. Going back and forth MD to FL is double jeopardy. It is theoretically possible to be nailed by both at the same time unless you pay one of them off before the other one gets you.

I find it amazing that you migrate between the two most aggressive boat tax collection states yet live in Delaware where they don't even want to collect. This really is the perfect storm.
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Old 02-04-2009, 20:25   #58
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Delaware regulation? Registration? That's a red flag to a lot of tax men, too many folks used it for too many years for sham corporations to dodge taxes.

170 days in Florida might mean you are required to register it there, check before you push that point. And you'll need to check the DE and MD regs as well.

Can you prove where you were? Receipts or logs? If you can't, pay the man. If you have residences--not just addresses but proven residences andor domiciles--in two states, you may very well owe taxs in both of them. All depends on the state laws in each. Registration of a boat? That's you job, do the homework. Once a motor vehicle hsa spent 90 days in many states, you are required to transfer the registration and title and everything else. In some states it is "90 continuous days or 183 days during one year" or similar terms.

Unless you are recording your calls--don't rely on anything anyone tells you on the phone, get it in writing. Folks have this odd habit of saying "I never said that" when push comes to shove. "Do you want to hear the tape of you saying exactly that?" tends to alter the very foundations of their reality. "Do I need to play that tape to your supervisor?" works better than a loaded gun.

Of course, in some states, recording calls is also illegal.
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Old 02-04-2009, 20:34   #59
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Yes the boat is registered in Delaware. I arrived in md. may 20th of 08 and the letter they sent said as of may 23rd 08 says I am liable.I have documentation that I was docked in S. Florida for 170 days of course I was here longer maybe another 12 days. They ( dnr ) Has documentation of one day that I know of. I do boat in the chesapeake and more then 90 days I guess feel I am getting screwed. If I owe anybody which I probably do it would be florida Oh well that is life,pay to play
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Old 02-04-2009, 20:47   #60
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Delaware regulation? Registration? That's a red flag to a lot of tax men, too many folks used it for too many years for sham corporations to dodge taxes.
Has nothing what so ever to do with boats. It's not a red flag unless they catch you with a annual slip contract in the state of MD. It's what they call a "Gimme". They have state law backing them up. No one that lives in MD is going to argue boats from DE shouldn't pay taxes. MD folks are pretty nice but not that generous.

Leave your boat in DE and no one will ever raise an eyebrow. You could be a resident in any other state and no one can touch you. People do it all the time. Park it too long in almost any state adjacent and they want the taxes. It's a time clock almost any place you go. If you keep moving you can dodge the bullet. The trick is not to stop. Sooner or later the cost of moving wears you down. If they can catch you then they also can add the penalties.
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