The Real Cost of Owning a Boat

By Bloomberg Rankings - 2012-05-15T21:05:49Z

Photograph by Louie Psihoyos/Science Faction/Corbis

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Taxes -- you can't get away from them. Or maybe you can. In Rhode Island, there's no sales tax on a boat. In Florida, boat dealers and brokers collect 6 percent sales and use tax, with a maximum payment of $18,000 -- but there's no property tax on boats. That's one reason many boats migrate to Florida from, say, South Carolina in the winter. In South Carolina, boats pay a tax equal to 10.5 percent of the boat's assessed value -- which is then adjusted for the county rate -- if the boat is in the state for 180 days or more. Anything less and there is no tax due.