Florida collected nearly 10 times the projected sales tax revenue after new maritime provisions were signed into law, according to a study by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association and the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. The new law put an $18,000 sales-and-use tax cap on boats purchased or brought into Florida. Research indicated that Florida’s marine industry was losing sales to nearby states and foreign countries with lower or no sales taxes. The cap generated in excess of $13.46 million in direct sales tax revenue for the state.
Prior to July 1, 2010, all boats sold and/or delivered in Florida were subject to a 6-percent sales-and-use tax, unless specifically exempt. Small-business owners argued that it provided an incentive for Floridians and non-residents to purchase and maintain boats out of state.