Boat tax relief bill considered in Connecticut

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Connecticut’s recreational boaters are being asked to advocate the passage of pending state legislation that industry groups say would benefit the state’s boaters and businesses.

Raised Bill 6576 would extend the winter window of time allowed for out-of-state transient boats to be kept in Connecticut for overhaul and repair work without being subject to sales and use tax.

The bill proposes that the annual layup period from Nov. 1 to April 30 be extended one month on either end to allow for repairs and layup for out-of-state boats from Oct. 1 to May 31 without subjecting the vessels to sales and use taxes.

“Anyone who boats or is in the boating business knows this conforms to what the winter storage and layup season lasts,” Connecticut Marine Trades Association president Grant W. Westerson told Trade Only Today.

This one simple move would greatly benefit the state and the state’s marine businesses by making Connecticut a more desirable place for people to have their boats serviced, he said.

“It’s a revenue bill. Every time a boat comes into the state there’s dockage, painting, repairs and other work, plus the owners are spending money at restaurants, stores and other places,” Westerson said.

The state House and Senate approved a similar bill last year, but Gov. Dannel Malloy vetoed it.

“Politicians don’t understand business. They’re politicians,” Westerson says. “They don’t understand you’re not losing something if you don’t get something you never had.”

BoatUS is also urging Connecticut boaters to have their voices heard in a debate taking place now on Raised Bill 6576.

The organization says an additional provision was removed from the bill that also had allowed a 60-day length of stay for out-of-state boats to make repairs at any time of the year before being subject to sales and use taxes. However, BoatUS said in a press release, “while the half-million member boaters group believes this provision should be put back in the bill, if that is not successful it should not ultimately block the passage of Raised Bill 6576.”

BoatUS has set up a way for people to send a message to legislators. They can go to www.boatus.com/ctalert or click here to take action. The bill could be heard in either chamber as early as today.

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