Finally, the Florida Legislature has done the right thing and signed into effect putting a cap on sales and use tax in the state of Florida.  With tax revenues having severely diminished in the recent economic downturn, Florida politicians have agreed that getting some tax revenue is better than nothing.

Just recently Governor Charlie Christ signed the Larger Jobs for Florida Bill CS/SB – 1752, which contains the state’s Boat Sales /Use Tax Cap Legislation on May, 28 2010.  The Bill will go into effect July 1, 2010.  Now the maximum tax on any vessel sold in the state of Florida will be capped at $18,000. You can probably expect to see the offshore registry business come to a halt as buyers will not need to register a boat offshore to avoid the 6% sales tax.

The Boat Sales/Use Tax Cap limits the 6% Florida state sales tax on new and used boat purchases (in the state of FL) to $18,000.   This was done in hopes of helping to save local marine industry jobs and ultimately increase sales tax revenue.  In the past ten years Florida has been losing boat sales and service oriented revenue to our neighboring states and countries that offer more favorable tax advantages.  Instead of buyers closing boats here, they would offshore register the boats which would ultimately move the craft out of the state.  Because the purchaser did not pay FL sales tax on the new vessel, its cruising ability in the Sunshine State would be restricted and thus would simply not operate in Florida waters and not use local yards.  This legislation is a win for the buyers and for the state.  It is estimated that the new law will produce $19,000,000 in sales tax revenue this year alone and that is revenue that would have been lost to other countries and states.  We are expecting this cap to immediately begin re-invigorating Florida’s vital marine industry to once again stimulate boat sales and encourage boat buyers to register, keep and repair their crafts in our great state.  Again, the sales cap will go into effect July 1, 2010. 

In other news, Ocean Alexander is moving our Ft. Lauderdale office.  We are moving from our current location on Las Olas to Pier 66 Marina, under the 17th Street Bridge.  We will be able to keep our stock Ocean Alexander yachts there for easy viewing as well as easy access to Port Everglades for sea-trials.  We will also have preferential dockage, fuel and hotel rates as well as  have maximum exposure for our brokerage clients.  Pier 66 is directly in the heart of Ft. Lauderdale and the marine industry.  There is no better place to keep a boat for sale as the foot traffic on the docks and overall exposure is unmatched.  That being said NOW is the time to list a boat for sale as we are in our summer months and with the tax cap about to go into effect, we will see a boost in sales.  In addition, Ocean Alexander will put together an aggressive marketing campaign to make sure your boat gets the exposure it needs to sell quickly and for the maximum price.  We will also be hosting weekly open-houses on all our boats so feel free to stop by for a drink and a tour.

If you ever have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call or email me anytime. 786-390-2782.  Have fun, happy and safe boating!  Keep it between the channel markers!