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Old 04-07-2021, 11:06 AM   #1
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Washington State Boat Taxes Could Double

From Recreational Boating Association of Washington.

Dear RBAW Members and Supporters,

On Monday afternoon, we learned that the State Senate Transportation Committee would be proposing to double the Watercraft Excise Tax paid by boaters, as one revenue source among many to pay for a new transportation revenue package.

While we understand the need for the state to invest in transportation infrastructure, it is extremely unfair to double the Watercraft Excise Tax. We boaters are already the only users of the state’s roadways, waterways, and air space to pay a percentage-based excise tax to the state. Cars don’t pay that to the state anymore, and neither do motor homes, planes, or helicopters. Doubling a tax on the one group paying a percentage tax to the state that no one else is, is completely wrong.

Northwest Marine Trade Association CEO George Harris and I strongly objected to this proposal at a Senate Transportation hearing this morning – where we only had 30 seconds to testify. Click below to view our testimony:

Bob Wise, RBAW President Testimony



George Harris, NMTA President Testimony



RBAW and the NMTA are teaming up on an Action Alert to all boaters this evening. The legislative session ends on April 25 which is in just 19 days, so we need you to act now and use your voice to object. We urge you to contact your lawmakers right away and tell them that you do not support this tax increase - to do this you can click on the link below to access the VoterVoice system. It will prompt you to enter your name and address and will send your Senator and State Representatives a message that you do not support this tax increase.


If you have questions please contact Andrea Pierantozzi, RBAW VP Administration or Doug Levy, RBAW Lobbyist.

Thank you, and please act now.

Bob Wise

RBAW President
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:31 AM   #2
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I remember when the topic of WA state excise taxes on boats came up in another recent thread, it was just shocking what you WA boat owners pay. Zero property taxes on boats here and my state reg costs $24. The contrast is incredible.
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:03 PM   #3
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On the other hand, Washington State residents pay no income tax, and a sales tax that is in line with other states ~10%. Relative to New York and California, we are very under-taxed and what taxes we have are severely regressive.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:04 PM   #4
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How do they calculate FMV on a long depreciating vessel from the 80's or older?
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:08 PM   #5
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How could they say no to a guy named “Wise”?
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:12 PM   #6
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How could they say no to a guy named “Wise”?
I don't know, but it might be easier to do so when you testify in a casual shirt and ballcap.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:24 PM   #7
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On the other hand, Washington State residents pay no income tax, and a sales tax that is in line with other states ~10%. Relative to New York and California, we are very under-taxed and what taxes we have are severely regressive.
Yes, everything is relative, but then we pay no state income tax here either and sales tax is 6% -- but then the boat is a popsicle on jack stands Nov - April. Trade-offs in life.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:36 PM   #8
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How do they calculate FMV on a long depreciating vessel from the 80's or older?
I asked that question last time I registered my boat. It's based on the purchase price when you bought the boat then depreciated annually. I don't know the depreciation schedule.



Just guessing, for a used boat you arleady own and are bringing in from another state / country they probably have a data base.


And guessing again, if you disagree with the state's valuation of your boat's market value you might be able to challenge it as you would real estate appraisal. Maybe asking a broker to look it up on sold boats and evaluate your boat.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:27 PM   #9
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On the other hand, Washington State residents pay no income tax
Ahhh, but proposed legislation is in the works to adjust this oversight via capital gains, bonds etc. Washinfornia is moving right along to keep pace with CA and the Feds in grabbing more income from those nasty rich people.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:30 PM   #10
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I remember when the topic of WA state excise taxes on boats came up in another recent thread, it was just shocking what you WA boat owners pay. Zero property taxes on boats here and my state reg costs $24. The contrast is incredible.

Do you pay income tax? They don't; that revenue is going to come from somewhere.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:00 PM   #11
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Wa state has other means of collecting monies from boaters. I.E. the department of natural resources (DNR) manages most of the tide lands and commercial entities lease that space or actually the right to use the water above those tide lands. In our case I own a slip in a condo marina. The marina owns the land to the mean high tide level, as well as the floating docks that sit over the DNR managed tide lands. there are 54 slips in our marina the annual lease fees paid to the DNR by our marina is $56,000. The state finds ways to get money some are more visible then others.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:22 PM   #12
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Nope, no state income tax either. We may have the lowest non-federal tax burden in the United States. That's one reason so many RVers and migrant boaters register here and get mail forwarded from here, and declare residency here. Although when it comes to boats, I know some money-hungry states track your boat to see how much time it spends in state waters. Heck, even Nebraska on the opposite shore of the Missouri River does that sometime, to make sure boaters aren't ducking registration fees and taxes by mooring on the SD side. Me, I'm a legitimate SD resident and our boat is moored on the northern side of the river so no dodging or dancing necessary.
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Do you pay income tax? They don't; that revenue is going to come from somewhere.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:49 PM   #13
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On the other hand, Washington State residents pay no income tax, and a sales tax that is in line with other states ~10%. Relative to New York and California, we are very under-taxed and what taxes we have are severely regressive.
I hope we never open that door to a state income tax. Real estate taxes are crazy, our $30 car tabs didn't last long and the Seattle/Tacoma metro area attempts to dictate to the rest of the state how we should pay more of their areas transportation costs. I prefer not to join the Cali and New York tax brackets.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:31 PM   #14
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I remember when my car was old enough (+30 years) to get WA collector vehicle plates. Licensing fees dropped way down. By statute, the car could only be used to attend parades, touring, club events, and occasional pleasure driving. Not every day commuting to work, grocery shopping, etc.

But what about my boat!! I never take it to work or grocery shopping. And my boat just turned 30. Where's my annual $12 collector boat sticker!!
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:00 PM   #15
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Write to your legislators...

Here is a link (below) to votervoice (dot) net, a quick and easy way for WA vessel registrants to share your opinion with your elected officials. Please consider participating, and take a few minutes to share it with your friends, family, and neighbors.

https://www.votervoice.net/mobile/NM...CLaUAA_v_X7FBA
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:08 PM   #16
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Another interesting tax in Washington: if you stay as a transient in a marina for longer than 28 days, you get assessed property tax on the slip you occupied, and that is retroactive to the day of arrival. So the 29th day is very expensive.
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:39 PM   #17
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Another interesting tax in Washington: if you stay as a transient in a marina for longer than 28 days, you get assessed property tax on the slip you occupied, and that is retroactive to the day of arrival. So the 29th day is very expensive.

That's a new one. And published info on it, ideally an actual statute?
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:56 AM   #18
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The cost of government services is payed by taxation. Your 30 second opinion that it’s not a legal tax gives you a clue to how much credence the taxing authorities give you. Your best option is thru the courts.
The best way to combat unfair taxation is by moving to a better managed state.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:05 AM   #19
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Could someone explain what the current tax is and what it is doubling to?
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:10 AM   #20
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0.005 of fair market value

https://dor.wa.gov/taxes-rates/other...aft-excise-tax
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