Investigation targets boat dealer loophole

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An investigation by Nebraska Watchdog has found a plumbing company, two commercial painters and at least one ex-convict in a four-page list of registered boat dealers in the State of Nebraska.

According to the state, there are 115 registered boat dealers in Nebraska. But Nebraska Watchdog's exclusive investigation finds that more than half of the dealers admit they don't sell boats.

Late last year, Nebraska Watchdog reported that state Sen. Kent Rogert has avoided paying the sales tax on his $40,000 boat, taking advantage of a loophole in state law that allows anyone, without providing proof, to get a boat dealer's registration number.

And because they are dealers, they don't pay sales tax.

Later this year, the Nebraska Legislature's Transportation Committee is scheduled to look into the boat dealer business.

It's expected the committee will examine the loopholes in the law uncovered by Nebraska Watchdog, including the fact that, unlike car dealers, boat dealers are not licensed by the state.

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