The TMIC has joined together Texas marine businesses, their employees, vendors and customers to provide a strong platform and voice to promote and protect the interests of the Texas Marine Industry.
ISSUE: The Preservation and Growth of Texas Marine Industry Jobs
For over a decade, the Texas marine industry has been losing jobs and opportunities to Florida and other coastal states as we have dropped in the ranks of boat sales and boat registrations. This is primarily due to a competitive disadvantage in boat sales tax and registration regulations. Florida adopted a sales tax cap measure 10 years ago that created a boom in their marine industry. Since then, other coastal states have followed suit while Texas has stood pat and watched Texas boat buyers and their taxes and jobs flee to the more friendly tax states. The Texas Marine Industry Coalition (TMIC) is committed to reversing this trend thru positive action and legislation to preserve and stimulate the marine industry and the associated businesses. It is vital that the State of Texas stem the flow of tax revenue, boat registrations, jobs and economic activity now going to Florida and other states due to those states proactive tax policies. We must re-establish the state of Texas among the nation’s leaders in boat sales and employment related to the marine industry. A healthy, growing marine industry supports and generates economic activity for a multitude of other non-marine businesses located in our marine recreational communities.
Establishing a boat sales tax cap, similar to Florida’s, reducing restrictions and providing incentives for vessels with out of state registration to utilize Texas waters will stimulate marine businesses and provide a significant increase in economic activity. The result will be more jobs and improved services throughout the Texas marine industry and communities. This has been proven in Florida and the 12 other states that have already taken action on these issues.
Our proposals will stop the flow of boat sales tax revenue from Texas boat buyers to other states. That tax money, increased boat registrations and associated jobs will shift back to Texas and provide a boost to our coastal communities still recovering from devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Additionally, our proposals will provide a welcoming environment for the owners of out of state registered boats, especially Texas residents, to come to, or return to, Texas ports and communities so that they can enjoy our coastal resources and engage the local marine industry for services, repairs, refits and supplies.
It is time now for Texas to take action to balance the competitive scales and return to our position as a national leader in boat sales and a thriving marine industry.
Texas Marine Jobs Preservation and Growth
2018/2019 Summary of Proposed Legislation.
There are four primary components to the legislation proposed by the TMIC:
1. Provide a sales tax cap on all taxable vessels by amending Chapter 160. Taxes on Sales and Use Boats and Boat Motors to cap the tax imposed at $18,750.
Action: Amend Chapter 160 of the Tax code where applicable to insert the capped amount.
2. Provide that all taxable vessels are taxed under the same tax code: Chapter 160. Taxes on Sales and Use of Boats and Motors. Currently Chapter 160 defines a boat as a vessel not more than 65 feet. Vessels more than 65 up to 115 feet in length are taxed under Tax Code Chapter 151. Sales, Excise and Use Tax.
Action: Amend the definition of boat as it applies to Chapter 160 to be any vessel up to 115 feet in length
3. Provide an exemption from sales tax for certain boats sold in Texas for use in another state or country. The exemption would apply to vessels seeking repair or refit by Texas businesses prior to leaving the state.
Action: Provide an exemption for certain boats sold in Texas for use in another state if the vessel is placed in a repair facility or placed in service for repairs within 10 days of the sale and removed from Texas waters after repairs are made.
4. Provide for a temporary cruising permit or other method to allow boats with out of state registration to visit Texas waters for certain periods of time.
Action: Provide a revenue generating method in Chapter 160 for any vessel with a current out of state registration to be used in Texas waters during a set period of time.