July 12, 2018

CT sales-tax cut boosts boat sales

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Boats on Candlewood Lake.

Connecticut's recent sales-tax cut on new- and used- recreational boat sales is raising the sales tide, the state's watercraft dealers say.

The Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA), an Essex trade group, says the July 1 reduction in the tax rate on sales of boats, motors and trailers to 2.99 percent from 6.35 percent has boosted demand of late.

"Boating in Connecticut has become more affordable with the passage of this bill, and it couldn't have come at a better time for Connecticut marinas and dealers who have been losing customers and jobs to neighboring states," CMTA Executive Director Kathleen Burns said in a statement Thursday. "Coupled with a somewhat delayed season, this past weekend really announced the opening of the season and a re-invigoration of boating in our state.''

Shoreline dealer Don MacKenzie, general manager of Boats Inc. in the Niantic section of East Lyme, said the recent heat wave gave buyers extra motivation.

According to CMTA, the National Marine Manufacturers Association in 2016 counted 93,364 registered boats in Connecticut. Sales statewide that year of new boats, engines and marine accessories totaled $157.7 million, supporting more than 7,300 jobs in the state in 537 boating-related small businesses.

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