Boat-tax failure costs state millions

BOSTON – The state of Massachusetts has lost millions of dollars since 1997 by failing to effectively collect boat excise taxes according to an Associated Press story yesterday in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

A report released Thursday by state auditor Joseph DeNucci found that failures by state and local officials to effectively collect the taxes had cost cities and towns up to $30 million since 1997. The state also missed out on an estimated $4.3 million in boat registration fees, AP reported.

DeNucci blamed the problem in part on a lack of communication between state and local officials and an outdated system that assesses a boat’s value by its size and age rather than book value, according to the article.

He also found that more than 15,000 federally documented boats haven’t been reported to the municipalities where they are docked or moored, and that 75 percent of the 162 communities with registered or documented boats collected no excise tax, reported AP.

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