Bill containing Florida boat sales-use tax cap signed

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Late last Friday, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed the Jobs for Florida Bill, CS/SB-1752, which contains the Florida boat sales-use tax cap legislation, bringing about what some industry insiders are calling “a major victory for Florida’s struggling marine industry.”

The $18,000 Boat Sales and Use Tax Cap will take effect on July 1, effectively bringing Florida’s boat dealers and brokers into parity with their competitors in other states and nearby countries, where sales taxes on boats have been far lower, reported the Florida Yacht Brokers Association (FYBA) and Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) in a joint statement this morning.

Jeff Erdmann, president of Bollman Yachts of Fort Lauderdale and a member of the FYBA Legislative Committee, said the tax cap legislation was approved “thanks to an intense lobbying effort sponsored jointly by the FYBA and MIASF.”

“We want to thank Governor Crist for signing the bill into law, as well as the bold leadership of Rep. Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff, Sen. Don Gaetz, Rep. Tom Grady, Rep. Will W. Weatherford, and all of the state legislators who supported our cause,” he added.

The Boat Sales-Use Tax Cap limits the 6-percent Florida state sales tax on a boat purchase or the use tax for currently owned vessels to $18,000, helping Florida save marine industry jobs and, ultimately, increase sales tax revenue, according to the statement. Passage of the cap is expected almost immediately to begin invigorating Florida’s vital marine industry by helping to stimulate boat sales and encourage boat buyers and current owners to register, keep and use their watercraft in the state, the associations said.

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