The Maryland’s vessel excise tax of 5 percent of a boat’s value could be driving owners to other states like Delaware.
Brokers say that purchases lag in the state because residents go to tax-free Delaware or Virginia where the rate is only 2 percent with a $2-thousand cap.
The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the excise tax is becoming a key issue for the boating industry with some saying that it’s why Maryland did not enjoy a rebound in boat sales last year.
Maryland sales fell from $183 million in 2010 to $162 million last year.
That made it 26th in the nation.
In 2008 sales had been $248 million.
The Department of Natural Resources has stayed away from decreasing or capping the tax because it uses the money for the Waterway Improvement Fund.
That money is used for dredging and other projects to keep the state’s waters healthy.