Governor signs Florida boat tax cap into law

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A Florida bill that limits sales-use tax on boat purchases has been signed into law.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed the larger Jobs for Florida Bill, CS/SB-1752, on May 28, which contains the Florida Boats Sales-Use Tax Cap legislation.

The cap limits the 6 percent state sales tax on a boat purchase, or the use tax for currently owned vessels to $18,000, which lawmakers hope will help the state save marine industry jobs and ultimately increase sales tax revenue.

The law will take effect July 1, bringing the state’s boat dealers and brokers level with competitors and nearby countries that have lower sales tax on vessels.

Click here for the full release.


10 comments on “Governor signs Florida boat tax cap into law


    Another tax break for the rich. Just what florida needs in a time of record unemployment and red budget numbers.The payback?…That comes during election campaigns when those legislators who voted in favor of the give away have their hands  out for re-election  dollars. I note that that Joe and Jane middle class boaters get no boat tax break…guess they just don’t kick in enough money to members of a legislature  that is reputed to be the best money can buy.

  2. edward mc carthy

    As I see it, John Ennis who commented on 6/2/20 @ 3:43PM has it just about right. Shame on the Govoner and the legislators againts “WE THE PEOPLE”.
    Why not consider tipping that order upside down, and collect the greatest amount of $$’s from those few who have the big bucks to buy the big boats.
    If I have it wrong,  well I’ll accept anothers comments.
    Edward the sailmaker.

  3. Mitchell Wotherspoon

    John & Edward,
    You obviously don’t understand the way yacht sales in Florida work. Before this bill was signed most people who bought a yacht in Florida set up an off shore company and registered the vessel there so that they could avoid paying the 6% tax. The average cost of setting up an off shore company is $18,000 which is why the cap is set at $18,000. At least now they will pay some tax to the state, the vessel will remain in Florida and the trickle down effect of keeping the vessel in Florida is passed to those in the marine industry.
    I commend all of those who lobbied to have this bill passed as well as our Senators and Governer. I think all in the industry will see an upturn in work. Don’t forget;
    “According to the City of Ft. Lauderdale official web page under economic development (  “Marine commerce is the leading industry in Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County, accounting for more than 134,000 jobs and $10.78 billion in total economic impact.”
    And thats just in Broward.
    Mitchell Wotherspoon

  4. Arch

    EDWARD and JOHN obviously have no idea what percentage of taxes are paid by the wealthy.  It’s disproportionate and most of the public have no clue.
    EDWARD and JOHN forget that it’s the wealthy that employ the low/middle class.  If they aren’t making money, they don’t hire or give raises.
    EDWARD and JOHN need to realize we are in the Republic of the United States of America.  This isn’t China, Cuba, or even Europe.  This isn’t “each according to his need, each according to his ability”  WE aren’t socialists yet, even though I”m sure your vote helped push us in that direction.
    EDWARD and JOHN fail to realize that this wasn’t some push to help the rich, it was a way to spur sales.  What they just passed will have a minimal impact on the states tax receipts.  If they did it on the smaller boats, it would have and the state can’t afford that right now.
    This new law is far from perfect.  LIke anything else, it’s a comprimise, but kudos to the state for doing it.

  5. Jason B

    This is a tax break for all. If someone rich buys a big boat it keeps people employeed. In the marine industry it is greatly needed. If you’re in the marine industry, anything that helps promote boat sales is good for you. You could be that rich guy one day, it’s up to you, they did something to get there, don’t hate them for it.

  6. rob roberson

    Well i have a charter boat that i cant even use in florida because i couldnt afford the sales tax, and there are a lot of hard working, live from paycheck to paycheck people that are struggling with todays times, that would greatly benefit from having enough income to be able to stay off of government subsidies, so before you go firing off the poor me the rich folks are getting away with it again i suggest you research the FACTS, and measure the economic impact that the marine industry has on the state of Florida, Its pretty obvious that you didnt do your due diligence before your post and just knee jerk reacted in a typical fashion that is so common nowadays. Instead of burning up lots of brain cells bashing other people because they have what you dont, maybe you should get your lazy butt off the computer and go work, take the risks that true entrepenuers do and hopefully reap the benefits, its really easy to be an armchair quarterback, but a lot harder to get in the game and play hard.

  7. Dave Huffman

    This is a great new law that will allow / encourage large boats to stay in Florida and keep our local marine based economy thriving.
    Dave Huffman, Marine Surveyor

  8. stuart e clark

    The tax system has shown an evident need of revision for the “little guy”… the one with lower income and grease on his or her hands.  When did governent get so needy that people who buy 30 year old boats need to subsidize the government?  Wouldn’t it work better to set sales taxes to age and depreciation, such that old boats wind up with no sales tax at all?  Yes… a fee for the transfer and the licensing, but a contual payment to the gov. for nothing over all those years?   Add it up. Six percent over 30 years time five sales equals a heck of a chunk added to the vehicle’s cost with no added value.
    Why not 6% when new… 5% after 5 years and 4%…. etc etc.
    C’mon government… try to remember who you’re here to serve.
    We DO need less government, fewer taxes and fewer regulations.

  9. trstwo

    If you are against this law change then most likely you are against a lower capital gains tax.  If you are against it is time to audit Econ 101 or maybe take it for the first time.

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