TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law legislation that cuts the sales and use taxes on purchases of recreational boats by 50 percent, to 3.5 percent. The law also sets a $20,000 cap on sales tax imposed on such purchases, and provides a 30-day grace period during which a tax will not be levied on the use of such boats in the state.
Christie conditionally vetoed the bill originally, as it did not extend to smaller vessels. The Democratic-controlled state Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of approving his conditions. The State Assembly voted unanimously
"The production of boats and other vessels has declined in recent years due to a range of factors, including the economic recession and the impact of Superstorm Sandy," said Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May), a sponsor of the bill. "This new law will help to revive the industry through changes to our tax structure. It will allow us to compete with states like Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Florida. Ultimately, it will help to bring back consumers to our state for these purchases, supporting our shore-area businesses and growing local jobs."
About 150,000 recreational boats are registered in New Jersey, down by 100,000 over the past 15 years, according to the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey. Supporters of the bill are hopeful the tax break will help New Jersey rebuild the boating industry in the state by increasing boat sales, service work and more, ultimately lead to more jobs.
"This is a tremendous victory for the industry and boating in New Jersey," stated MTA/NJ Executive Director, Melissa Danko. "We are very thankful to everyone that helped make this happen, including our legislative sponsors Senator Van Drew and Assemblyman Andrzejczak, and especially Governor Christie for expanding the tax savings on all boats, signing this important legislation into law and supporting the boating industry in New Jersey. This new law will not only get more people out on the water enjoying our waterways but will ensure the future health and growth of the New Jersey recreational boating industry by increasing revenues and creating jobs."