New Jersey Governor Proposes Boat Sales Tax Increase

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy proposed repealing the sales tax reduction and the sales tax cap on all boat sales in the state. Additionally, Senator Vin Gopal introduced Senate Bill 2847, which would repeal both as well. NMMA strongly opposes both efforts and is actively working with recreational boating industry stakeholders to prevent the measures from becoming law.

In 2015, New Jersey elected officials came together in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner to reduce the sales tax on boats by half, from 7% to 3.5%, and implement a $20,000 tax cap on boat sales. As a result, these measures helped ensure boat sale revenue would stay in state and support the New Jersey boating industry.

Between 2000 and 2015, the state lost more than 90,000 registered boats due to the economic downturn, Hurricane Sandy and surrounding states having lower tax rates and incentives to boat buyers. Following the passage of the tax reduction and cap, new boat sales and registrations increased, with New Jersey experiencing an 8% increase in new boat sales over the last five years.

In response to both the Governor’s proposal and Senator Gopal’s bill, NMMA has been working with the Marine Trades Association New Jersey, Marine Retailers Association of the Americans, Association of Marina Industries and NMMA New Jersey members to defeat the tax increases.

NMMA has submitted a letter to the Governor’s office requesting his administration to reconsider eliminating these measures as they benefit all boat buyers and the marine industry. NMMA also submitted a letter to Senator Gopal, Senate and Assembly leadership, as well as the budget committees of both chambers.