Baltimore Sun opposes lower excise tax in Maryland


Maryland marine industry advocates have said high state excise taxes on yachts are driving business to neighboring states, but an editorial in The Baltimore Sun maintains that lowering the tax is a bad choice since it would only affect "the super-rich."

“Few places in the U.S. are better suited for boating and the state's geographic blessing has produced economic rewards for its citizens — an estimated 35,000 jobs produced by a $2 billion industry,” the editorial stated.

The marine industry is asking the Maryland General Assembly to reduce or cap the state’s excise tax on boats next year so the state will be better able to compete with neighboring states, such as Delaware. But that idea might not appeal to average boat owners or middle-class taxpayers, the editorial cautioned.

“It would be a tax cut for the super-rich who, incidentally, represent a very small percentage of the boating public,” the newspaper wrote.

“The excise tax is the only source of funding for Maryland's Waterway Improvement Fund, which pays to maintain public navigation channels, hundreds of boating facilities and thousands of navigation buoys and markers,” the editorial stated. “Cut funding, and boats will find much of the waterways inaccessible as channels fill up with silt.”

The fund took in $14.2 million this year, down from $15.4 million last year. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources estimates the cost of maintaining boating infrastructure at $41 million and climbing, in part because of cutbacks at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the newspaper said.

“The underlying cause of the boating industry's woes is not the excise tax but the economy,” the newspaper wrote. “Boats are a luxury, not a necessity. And most recently, high fuel prices have caused some boaters to keep their vessels on dry land. If there are steps Maryland can take to help the industry, they ought to be explored. But neglecting boating infrastructure ought not to be one of them.”

Click here for the full editorial.


Polaris Names CEO and CFO

Previously interim executives, Michael Speetzen was named the CEO and Bob Mack the CFO of the Minnesota-based powersports company.

Sanlorenzo Reports Q1 Financials

The Italian builder continues to gain market share and expects to debut five models at Cannes in September and launch three new lines in 2022.

New Hope for Killing Algae Blooms

Researchers are experimenting with injecting ozone nanobubbles into waterways that burst and cut off the algae’s food supply.

Mercury’s Impact on the Local Economy

A new study shows that the manufacturer has a more than $5 billion annual impact on the Fond du Lac, Wis., community.

Lippert Posts Record Q1

The quarter marked a “watershed moment” for the component supplier, as net sales hit $1 billion.

Rollick Reaches 100th OEM Customer Mark

Customers that use its Aimbase marketing technology represent 65 percent of U.S. marine unit sales.

Safe Harbor Adds Lauderdale Marine Center

The Florida superyacht facility was acquired in a deal worth $340 million.

Don’t Throttle Back Now

As pandemic restrictions ease, folks will be getting back to leisure activities that often compete with boating.