Long-awaited boat sales tax reduction approved by lawmakers - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Long-awaited boat sales tax reduction approved by lawmakers

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Boaters are thrilled about this new reduced sales tax (WFSB) Boaters are thrilled about this new reduced sales tax (WFSB)

There’s good news for anyone in the market to buy a boat.

A long-awaited reduction in the Connecticut sales tax on boats was approved Wednesday night in both the House and Senate.

It now awaits signature by the governor.

Experts at Boats Inc. boat dealership said they are thrilled about this, as they have been fighting to get this for years.

They say with the sales tax currently being 6.35 percent and now it voted on to go down to 2.99 percent this is a game changer.

They said Connecticut can now try to compete with states like Rhode Island, which has no sales tax on boats at all.

“You have no idea how huge this is and how happy everybody is. We’ve already got phone calls this morning. Many people say when will this be implemented and this was passed just right after midnight,” said Don Mackenzie, president of Boats Inc.

He has been selling boats in Connecticut for decades.

He knows all too well that competing with other states with no sales tax has cost sales big time and he said there has been a trickle-down effect.

If people don’t buy boats here, they are less inclined to put them in boat slips here or to spend money at local restaurants or tackle shops.

JB Tackle shop owner Kyle Douton said he agrees.

“Because there are 400-500 slips in this river alone that we have in the area. So, if we can keep boats here a makes a big difference for the local economy in the summer,” he said.

To the argument that reducing the tax rate, in an already cash-strapped state, on paper it’s a $3 million to $4 million loss as far as sales tax goes, but experts said it’ll be picked up elsewhere.

Lawmakers must finally agree on that because this was very much a bipartisan vote.

If the governor signs it into law, it would take effect July 1.

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