The House Finance and Tax Council have moved forward with a measure that caps sales tax on boats sold in Florida at $18,000. The tax cap is part of a measure that plans to spend $89 million on tax incentives this year.
Under the proposal, all boat purchases are subject to Florida’s standard 6% sales tax, but once the tax amount hits $18,000, (the equivalent of a $300,000 boat) the rest of the boat’s cost is tax free. If the measure is approved by both houses of the state legislature and Governor Charlie Crist, the tax cap will go into effect July 1, 2010.
Whether you call it a tax incentive or a revenue generator, this measure gives boat buyers a huge reason to buy in Florida. The measure will absolutely help Florida-based yacht brokers, bringing in business from buyers who formerly went to states with lower sales tax like Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina or Alabama. Others even create offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands or Marshall Islands to dodge the Florida 6% sales tax.
The new initiatives are designed to help the Florida yacht industry bring in at least a quarter of the business in competing areas.
The marine industry employs over 220,000 people in Florida, with a majority of them in South Florida. The tax cap’s goal is to keep revenue in Florida to help local yacht brokers such as Atlantic Yacht and Ship, which has served the yacht community for 50 years. The yacht brokerage in Fort Lauderdale – the heart of the yachting capital of the world – offers new and used boats for sale.