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Registering in SC vs NC, Tax question

Old 08-13-2020, 10:57 AM
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Default Registering in SC vs NC, Tax question

Hello, going to pick up a flats boat tomorrow and would love some guidance on registering the boat. I have the ability to register in either state and the boat will honestly spend about 50% of the time per year in each state. It looks like SC is going to cost me $500 in taxes to register it there. If I am reading it correctly, since I am buying from an individual, I would be exempt from paying Tax in NC. Am I reading this correctly?

Thanks in advance!
Old 08-13-2020, 11:00 AM
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You are correct, plus SC has almost double the annual property tax rate.
Go with NC.
Old 08-13-2020, 11:01 AM
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SC property taxes on boats can be silly high. Where would you be keeping it, and which state are you a resident of? Cap on sales/use tax of $500, then annual taxes on both boat and motor.
Old 08-13-2020, 11:40 AM
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Tax at registration vs ongoing property tax... need to calculate it all
Old 08-13-2020, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
SC property taxes on boats can be silly high. Where would you be keeping it, and which state are you a resident of? Cap on sales/use tax of $500, then annual taxes on both boat and motor.
It will spend May-Sept in NC, and Oct-April in SC. NC Resident, house in SC. I would have to pay the full $500 in SC to register, $130 in NC for three years. Not sure how they calculate property tax on boats in NC after the sale.
Old 08-13-2020, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Squid Row View Post
Tax at registration vs ongoing property tax... need to calculate it all
You don't pay ongoing property tax on boats in SC? Just one time fee?
Old 08-13-2020, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rebolc View Post
You don't pay ongoing property tax on boats in SC? Just one time fee?
Yes, you do pay ongoing property tax in SC, and it’s high. Take your chances with NC.

Im about to be in a similar position with Ga/Sc. Ga doesn’t have a cap, so it’s 7% of the price, but the property taxes are nothing. Sc is $500 in sales tax, but you bleed every year. I’m thinking about registering in Sc, then transferring it to Ga in a couple of years, to save on the taxes.
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Old 08-13-2020, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rebolc View Post
It will spend May-Sept in NC, and Oct-April in SC. NC Resident, house in SC. I would have to pay the full $500 in SC to register, $130 in NC for three years. Not sure how they calculate property tax on boats in NC after the sale.
I moved in from out of state to NC last year. The county will put a value on your boat and will tax you at their rate for that value. Think the value depreciates yearly. You pay with your yearly property tax
Old 08-13-2020, 06:09 PM
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In NC, you can end up paying both yearly city AND county taxes. And they are all different. For instance, rates in Morehead City and Carteret are lower, respectively, than New Bern and Craven. Typically, they tax you based on where the boat was being kept on January 1.
Old 08-14-2020, 06:26 AM
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Wait until you re-power an older boat with a new engine in SC.......full sales tax applies. For me that's 9%
Old 08-14-2020, 06:47 AM
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Just be aware too that you pay property tax for the full year on a boat in NC. If you own the boat Jan 1 and sell it in May or whenever, you still have to pay the full years tax on it in Onslow and Carteret counties anyway.
Old 08-14-2020, 08:22 AM
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In Charleston, ongoing annual prop taxes on my 2018 220 Cobia are about $1000 (boat/motor) and maybe $125 on the old carolina skiff. Different counties in SC may have a slightly lower rate.
Old 08-14-2020, 09:15 AM
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Default Register in NC

I live in NC and have a house in SC. My boat is 50/50 in NC/SC. I have a Pathfinder 2400.

I bought it from an individual in SC and registered it there because registration in SC is cheaper and boat trailers are free (no license plate or tax).
SC sales tax was about $500 (as best I remember), but yearly property tax (Charleston county) was $1100!

I then transferred it to NC were registration is a little more, boat trailer has to be registered, but property tax is $600 per year.

Get a bill of sale separating cost of boat and trailer.
There is no sales tax if you buy it from an individual except on the trailer.
Register your boat in NC, register the trailer at DMV.
Keep you boat in NC 6 months (try to avoid having it in SC on Jan 1 when the tax man goes looking).

You are legal and will save money.


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Old 08-14-2020, 09:26 AM
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Just reading this thread reminds me of how onerous taxes on personal property have become. Why in hell do we pay personal taxes on something in the same year we pay sales taxes and registration fees? None of this money goes into supporting anything related to boating or fishing. It's profiteering, plain and simple.
Old 08-16-2020, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by WETSU View Post
Just reading this thread reminds me of how onerous taxes on personal property have become. Why in hell do we pay personal taxes on something in the same year we pay sales taxes and registration fees? None of this money goes into supporting anything related to boating or fishing. It's profiteering, plain and simple.
Just another luxury tax. And a big one for boats in SC.
Old 08-17-2020, 02:29 PM
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Next thing to get taxed is all these golf carts😫. You know they’re thinking about it!!
Old 08-17-2020, 02:52 PM
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I'm not sure about North Carolina, but in South Carolina, the boat and motor are taxed separately......
Old 08-22-2020, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by beaufort boy View Post
In Charleston, ongoing annual prop taxes on my 2018 220 Cobia are about $1000 (boat/motor) and maybe $125 on the old carolina skiff. Different counties in SC may have a slightly lower rate.
Not because I could not afford the tax however I would likely give up boating if the state I lived in taxed my boat in the manners presented in this thread.

Only so much one can endure in principle. Hopefully golf clubs are not taxed in this manner otherwise I would have no other hobbies in Charleston.
Old 08-22-2020, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by h2osaltornot View Post
Next thing to get taxed is all these golf carts😫. You know they’re thinking about it!!
I hope they tax them to the hilt. golf carts on the streets are like jet skis to a boater.
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:29 AM
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If yo're buying a used boat from an individual there is no sales tax in NC.

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