Photo of Senator Leone.

State Senator

Carlo Leone

Representing Stamford & Darien

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Duff, Leone: Connecticut Boaters Win With 50 percent Tax Cut on Boats, Motors, and Trailers

State Senators Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) announced today that recently enacted biennial state budget cuts in half the sales tax on boats, boat motors and boat trailers, a move that is expected to save Connecticut boaters about $2.5 million beginning July 1.

Section 62 of the new state budget—signed into law on May 15 by Governor Malloy—reduces the state sales tax on the sale of new boats, motors and trailers from 6.35 percent to 2.99 percent, effective July 1, 2018.

Both Sens. Duff and Leone advocated for the sales tax cut and voted for the state budget which includes it.

“The maritime industry has been important to Connecticut for hundreds of years,” Sen. Duff said. “We have a proud history supporting boating for both recreational and commercial uses and the jobs associated with them. Fighting for a tax rate that keeps our state competitive with others ensures the industry will thrive well into the future.”

“Here in Stamford and Darien, boats are big business, whether you’re selling them or repairing them or docking them, and that’s true for the entire Connecticut shoreline from Greenwich to Stonington,” Sen. Leone said. “I and other legislators have heard for years about how Connecticut’s sales tax on boats, motors and trailers is making us uncompetitive with surrounding states, so I’m hopeful that cutting our sales tax rate in half—a little more than half, actually—is going to prompt more sales, which leads to more activity for marinas, restaurants, retail shops and diesel fuel dealers. I’m happy to finally get this legislation passed after years of trying.”

“We want to thank the legislature for recognizing the importance of recreational boating and the jobs this sector provides,” said Bill Gardella, owner of the Rex Marine Center in Norwalk. “The lower sales tax on boat purchases will help increase economic activity in our industry, and that’s a good thing.”

“The boating industry in Connecticut has suffered in recent years, but we believe the 2.99 percent sales tax will be very helpful in turning this around,” added Todd Breden, general manager of Brewer Yacht Haven Marina in Stamford. “The lower tax rate will encourage purchases to take place here in Connecticut, and not in other states.”

At a March public hearing on a similar bill to reduce the sales tax on boats, a marine industry executive noted that most boats sold in Connecticut are not luxurious, expensive yachts: in 2012, 40 percent of the boats sold in Connecticut were under 20 feet long, while just one-half of 1 percent of all boats sold exceeded 40 feet in length.

According to the state Department of Motor Vehicles, there were nearly 75,000 boats registered in Connecticut as of May 1.

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