Connecticut moves to cut boat tax

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Connecticut is looking to slash taxes on boats, joining neighboring states like Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey that have already done so.

A bill that would drop the tax on boats from 6.35 percent to 2.99 percent was approved by the House and the Senate and is awaiting signature by the governor, Kathleen Burns, executive director of the Connecticut Marine Trade Association, told Trade Only Today.

“We were significantly losing boat sales to out of state,” Burns said. “We really hope now this will work to attract many more boaters out of state to Connecticut. It should repopulate marinas and help keep workers in our state.”

The bipartisan bill came out of the Senate with a unanimous vote and passed the House overwhelmingly as well, Burns said.

Boat shows like the Progressive New York Boat Show attract dealers from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, Burns said.

“We were watching New York and New Jersey dealers have really successful shows” while Connecticut dealers felt their sales were flat, Burns said.

If the governor signs it into law, it would take effect July 1.

Boats Inc. president Don Mackenzie told Channel 3 WFSB that selling more boats in the state encourages more to keep their boats locally, positively impacting the economy through summer months.

Kyle Douton, owner of JB Tackle shop in Niantic, Conn., agrees.

“Because there are 400 to 500 slips in this river alone that we have in the area,” Douton told the station. “So, if we can keep boats here a makes a big difference for the local economy in the summer.”

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