Unfair tax - Trade Only Today

Unfair tax

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A circuitous route home from last weeks antique and classic boat show at Tavares/Mt.Dora, Fla., finds the April print edition of Soundings Trade Only in my mail box. (The front page story carried the headline The state tax some call 'extortion')

While at Mt. Dora this year a friend and I were swapping old tales, one of which was about a boat on which he crewed that had been restored by Camper & Nicholson's in England. The boat was shipped to its New York owner via Miami. The owner wanted to show it off at an earlier Mt. Dora show for three days before the boat then went directly home to Clayton, N.Y.

The Florida Department of Revenue said if the boat stops in Florida we will tax it. The owner called me, here, in Tallahassee and asked me to intervene. I wrote a couple of letters and visited the Revenue Director, explaining that if Florida taxed this boat the state would deprive a lot of interested Floridians from seeing this most unusual craft and cited some law on nexus, etc.

Ultimately Florida waived the tax, but the fact that the state, which was not the boat's home and never would be, wanted to tax the boat in the first place shows just how aggressive states can be in taxing transient boats.

Wilson Wright
Executive Director
Chris Craft Antique Boat Club

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