Passage of SB 90 Ensures Boost in MD Boat Sales

Passage of SB 90 Ensures Boost in MD Boat Sales

In what amounts to a major victory for Maryland’s struggling marine industry, a measure limiting the sales-use tax on boat purchases now is poised to become law. The $15,000 Excise Tax Cap will take effect on July 1, 2013, effectively bringing Maryland’s boat dealers and brokers into parity with their competitors in other states, where taxes on boats have been far lower.

“Thanks to an intense lobbying effort by the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM), the Maryland Boat Excise Tax Cap has been approved and is about to become law,” said George Dunigan, President of MTAM. “We want to thank House Speaker Mike Busch, and bill sponsors Senator John Astle and Delegate Ron George for supporting our efforts”.

The Boat Excise Tax Cap limits the 5-percent Maryland state excise tax on a boat purchase to $15,000. This will help Maryland to save marine industry jobs and, ultimately, increase revenues to the State’s Waterway Improvement Fund (which is funded by the tax). Maryland has been losing boat sales and service business and revenue to other states that offered more favorable sales tax treatment. Delaware has no tax and Virginia a two percent tax with a $2000 cap.

MTAM Executive Director Susan Zellers said, “Our members spoke loud and clear and, thankfully, our Legislators responded to the call. Maryland boating destinations and our experienced marine sales and service professionals are some of the best in the world . With the passage of this bill, it once again will become a popular place to purchase a vessel, especially for those contemplating purchases over $300,000. Thanks to this effort, Maryland’s important and vibrant marine industry faces a stronger and brighter future.”

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