Elimination of boat tax paying off for one city

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – When Hampton, Va., virtually eliminated its personal property tax on boats last year, it threw away $350,000 in annual tax revenues. But now the move is paying off, as boaters are flocking to the area and local business is flourishing, according to a story today in the Hampton Roads Daily Press.

The city’s move is paying big dividends, Chris Hall, owner of Bluewater Yachting Center, told the newspaper.

“They’ve already made [the lost revenue] up,” Hall said. With more than 200 new boat slips able to accommodate boats up to 250 feet and an upscale restaurant, business is better than anticipated and is generating profits for the city in the form of additional sales and meal taxes, the Daily Press reported.

“It’s unbelievable,” Hall told the newspaper. “We’re years ahead of where we thought we’d be. I would bet in the first year the city gets back tenfold what it lost in the boat tax.”

In fact, marinas have quietly become a big source of revenue in the region, according to Tom Murray, a marine business specialist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, who was interviewed by the newspaper.

Murray cites a recent study that shows that for every dollar spent at a marina, another $2.71 is generated in the state’s economy. In his job at VIMS, Murray is trying to help cities and counties with shoreline understand the economic power of marinas.

“I see it as transferring a natural resource into economic values,” he told the paper.

Gloucester County is also thinking of eliminating its personal property tax on boats – the rate is $4 per $100 of assessed value for boats under 5 tons and $1 per $100 of assessed value on boats over 5 tons, the newspaper reported.

  • For more of the latest news, click here.
  • To discuss this topic with other recreational marine industry professionals, click here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button