Maine cuts sales tax on boats sold to non-residents

PORTLAND, Maine — Gov. John E. Baldacci recently signed a state law that will allow non-resident boaters to pay considerably less in sales tax on their boat purchases in Maine, according to a release from the Maine Marine Trades Association.

The new law, which takes effect on Aug. 1, reduces the amount of Maine sales tax that will need to be paid by non-residents who choose to purchase and keep a boat in Maine. Prior to the passage of the law, non-residents who bought a boat in Maine were required to pay the prevailing sales tax (currently 5 percent) if they wanted to use the boat in state for more than 30 days. In addition, non?resident boaters who used their boats in Maine during their first year of ownership might be subject to the Use Tax if no sales tax had been paid in another jurisdiction.

The new law allows for an exemption that effectively brings the tax rate down to just 2 percent.

“This is a huge step in the right direction for our industry,” Ron Defoe, president of the Maine Marine Trades Association, said in the release. “Lowering the sales tax helps make our boatbuilders and dealers more competitive in the marketplace. The more we can sell the quicker we can rebound from what has been a really tough time for our industry.”

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