PROVIDENCE – Rep. William O’Brien, D-North Providence, has introduced legislation that aims to ease the auto-excise taxes on Rhode Island motor vehicle owners while generating more tax revenue for the state by instituting a sales and property tax on sailing vessels worth more than $100,000.
The bill is currently before the House Committee on Finance. It would set a $6,000 per-vehicle-excise tax exemption throughout the state, although cities and town would be allowed, as they are by current law, to provide an additional exemption. The $6,000 exemption would go into effect in the 2014 fiscal year (which begins this July 1). The bill also calls for a 1 percent sales tax imposed on all sailing vessels sold in excess of $100,000 and a 1 percent annual property tax on sailing vessels registered in the state with a value in excess of $100,000.
O’Brien noted that at 1 percent, a Rhode Island sales and property tax on high-end vessels will still be lower than neighboring Massachusetts, which imposes a 6.25 percent sales tax on boats. •