MD passes boat excise cap but only temporarily

It’s great to see that Gov O’Malley signed SB 90 earlier this month which limits the excise tax on Maryland boats at $15,000. For the reasons enumerated in my earlier post and for a host of other well documented reasons this will help revive the languishing Maryland marine industry. For a text of the bill click here. But be sure to read the fine print and don’t pop the champagne just yet.

There is a sunset provision in this bill that sets a cap expiration date of 2016. Between now and then, a task force will monitor the effects of this cap and report to the governor. The upshot is that further legislation will be required for the cap to be extended beyond 2016.

For an educational read on this legislation that makes for easier reading than the bill itself refer to this fiscal note. The note makes clear that any lost proceeds to the DNR as a result of this cap will be made up for (and then some) by the diversion of 0.5% of the fuel tax to DNR’s Waterway Improvement Fund (WIF).

This task force then will be of singular importance in quantifying the effects of this legislation in order that the cap may be extended beyond 2016.

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