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Boat Taxes in VA

Old 02-17-2021, 01:54 AM
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Default Boat Taxes in VA

Can some of my neighbors here in Virginia explain the Boat Taxes here in Virgina?

You have the "Sales" Tax, the local "Personal Property" tax and whatever other taxes the state of Virginia saddles you with.

I understand the Sales Tax is "2% Watercraft Sales Tax on the gross purchase price of watercraft and motor – maximum tax to be paid is $2,000" and I'm guessing that is paid to the Va Dept of Wildlife Resources?

Who gets the tax money for the trailer, the Dept of Motor Vehicles?

The Personal Property Tax (I live in Roanoke City) is based on the WHOLE shebang (Boat, Motor, Trailer, etc)?

Are there any Tips, Tricks or workarounds to reducing these taxes?

Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences on this subject.

BTW, I am a (potential) first time boat owner.






Old 02-17-2021, 02:08 AM
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Virginia is still pretty reasonable as far as taxes, 2% sales tax max of $2k, motor is part of the boat, pay to Fish and game. pay sales tax on trailer to DMV, personal property depends on locality, in my city we have none

Originally Posted by DennisInVa View Post
Can some of my neighbors here in Virginia explain the Boat Taxes here in Virgina?

You have the "Sales" Tax, the local "Personal Property" tax and whatever other taxes the state of Virginia saddles you with.


I understand the Sales Tax is "2% Watercraft Sales Tax on the gross purchase price of watercraft and motor – maximum tax to be paid is $2,000" and I'm guessing that is paid to the Va Dept of Wildlife Resources?

Who gets the tax money for the trailer, the Dept of Motor Vehicles?

The Personal Property Tax (I live in Roanoke City) is based on the WHOLE shebang (Boat, Motor, Trailer, etc)?

Are there any Tips, Tricks or workarounds to reducing these taxes?

Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences on this subject.

BTW, I am a (potential) first time boat owner.
Old 02-17-2021, 02:15 AM
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WOW.... no personal property tax on your boat where you live?

What city is this?

Old 02-17-2021, 03:08 AM
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Virginia Beach, it comes up every so often but gets voted down, city council must have some boaters !
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:38 AM
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Hampton, Portsmouth and on other in the Northern Neck also do not have any pp tax on boats
and yes the 2K cap actually is a good deal compared to some states
Old 02-17-2021, 04:54 AM
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We have PP tax on boats in James City, but it seems pretty negligible. Probably less than the PP on my trailer, but then again built my boat and its worth more than they think.

Sales tax is paid when you apply for title with DFW, think its based off total length of boat. Thats for private party, not sure how buying from a dealer works. Mine was only like $200 bucks for a 23 ftr I believe.

Why wouldn't you post this on the VA/chesapeake page? Whole world doesn't need to see this
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:01 AM
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When you buy a boat you register the boat through Game/inland fisheries.....register the trailer through DMV. Between the 2 they collect the taxes you have learned about. Personal Property is collected where you live, just like your car/truck. And yes, a small number of localities have eliminated PPT on boats.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:31 AM
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PP Taxes were killing me in VA. Rates depend on where you live. I had mine registered in Frederick County and got at $4,000 tax bill. I did not do my homework when I bought my boat and registered in VA where my primary residence is . After getting my first tax bill, I registered it in DE where I actually keep it and now I pay Zero. When I got the first tax bill, I went to the county office and explained to them that I actually keep the boat in DE. Hard to believe, but they ended up cancelling the bill. They gave me 60-days to register in DE and show proof that the boat was kept in DE for the year in question, which I had a slip rental receipt. After providing the info, they eliminated the bill. Taxes on boats in VA really vary depending on the county. Do your homework, where you list the boat as "kept" can make a bid difference.
Old 02-17-2021, 05:35 AM
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If you fuel up on the trailer in Va, save your receipts. You can apply for a tax credit for the gas tax that is charged for road maintenance, lops off a few cents per gallon. I hold 250 gallons so it helps out. Agreed, post in Mid-Atlantic forum
Old 02-17-2021, 06:05 AM
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This is why you see very few boats kept in Chesapeake and lots in Hampton in the 757 area. Hampton supposedly doesn't have pp tax on boats ,Chesapeake does.
Old 02-17-2021, 06:09 AM
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:38 AM
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Add Gloucester County to the list of counties with no PP tax on boats.

Hampton doesn't have PP taxes on boats but I believe they have a boat license fee which is $75/yr.

Your boat property taxes should be paid where the boat is "kept" and not where you live. PP tax is on your hull and motor. The trailer is registered separately so it's taxed separately.
Old 02-17-2021, 10:57 AM
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Add Poquoson to the list of localities that do not charge PP tax on boats... My boat spends 6 months in the OBX, just don't stay longer then 6 months and no taxes there.

I haven't paid a dime in taxes, including sales tax, on my Cabo. All my strategies are very legal, just have to do your homework....
Old 02-17-2021, 12:52 PM
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No boat tax in Lancaster county!
Old 02-17-2021, 01:34 PM
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You sure don’t want to come to Southampton County. PP taxes on boats are $5 on the $100. Highway robbery!
Old 02-18-2021, 06:46 AM
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Not only does Norfolk charge me personal property tax for boat which is kept at Morningstar marina, they also charge a $40 license fee. What is this license fee? I called Norfolk treasures office and it was explained to me that norfolk use to hand out a sticker (license) and the fee for that sticker was $40. They did away with the sticker but not the fee. So I guess Norfolk is into taking money and not giving anything back for the money they took. Kinda like a stick-em-up only without guns and it it legal. Shame on Norfolk city managers.
Old 02-19-2021, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by 757saltwater View Post
This is why you see very few boats kept in Chesapeake and lots in Hampton in the 757 area. Hampton supposedly doesn't have pp tax on boats ,Chesapeake does.
This is correct, Hampton is where I keep my boat and there is no PP tax on boats in that jurisdiction. There is a license fee as was mentioned but it’s minimal and does not bother me. Hampton does charge PP tax on the trailer since I also keep that at the marina, but it’s not very much. Overall I’m very happy with keeping my boat in Hampton, both for tax reasons and the location for the fishing I like to do.
Old 02-19-2021, 01:33 PM
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Our house is on the wrong side of Indian Creek.
Lancaster County: NO PP Tax on boats
Northumberland Country: PP Tax on boats

That said, I think our county manages this revenue pretty well and is definitely needed.
I just wish they would discount the value of our boat a little more. Boat and jet skis cost us about $4800/year in taxes.
Old 02-20-2021, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DennisInVa View Post
Can some of my neighbors here in Virginia explain the Boat Taxes here in Virgina?

You have the "Sales" Tax, the local "Personal Property" tax and whatever other taxes the state of Virginia saddles you with.

I understand the Sales Tax is "2% Watercraft Sales Tax on the gross purchase price of watercraft and motor – maximum tax to be paid is $2,000" and I'm guessing that is paid to the Va Dept of Wildlife Resources?

Who gets the tax money for the trailer, the Dept of Motor Vehicles?

The Personal Property Tax (I live in Roanoke City) is based on the WHOLE shebang (Boat, Motor, Trailer, etc)?

Are there any Tips, Tricks or workarounds to reducing these taxes?

Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences on this subject.

BTW, I am a (potential) first time boat owner.
Personal Property Taxes:
You worked hard enough to afford a boat, great. The king will allow you to buy the boat as long as you pay rent on it to him.

That's how person property taxes work.
Old 02-22-2021, 07:21 AM
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Who reports ownership to the county? DNR doesn’t

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