By Rick Clapp
The recent passing of the Texas Marine Industry Bill has been approved as HB 4032. It was successfully filed and signed by Texas Govenor Abbott. The passing of this marine bill will most positively impact the Clear Lake Area and Bay Area Houston Marine Region. We will now have a strong opportunity to compete with the state of Florida and other coastal states for large yachts, sailboats, and high priced center console fishing boat sales.
“The state of Texas can now return to its place among the Nation’s leaders in yacht and boating sales, and employment related to the marine industry,” said John Preston, president of the Texas Marine Industry Coalition (TMIC) and owner of the Boater’s Directory.
This bill will take effect Sept. 1, 2019 and shall effectively make the Texas marine industry competitive with other coastal states with lower tax policies for boats. The bill sets a limit on the 6.25% sales and uses tax for all taxable recreational vessels at $18,750, effectively matching the $18,000 tax that Florida enacted in 2010. The bill contains an additional provision to allow boats for use outside of Texas to temporarily remain in the state to utilize Texas marine service companies for refit and repairs.
There is also a provision to establish a fee permit system for out-of-state registered vessels if returning to or visiting Texas waters for temporary periods of time and spend money in our coastal communities. The intent and effect of each measure of the bill is to eliminate the incentives other states have been providing for large boat buyers and keep business in Texas. The bottom line is that the boat sales tax cap and additional provisions of HB 4032 will provide more boats, more boating and more business for Texas.
The bill took a tremendous amount of time, money, effort and planning, as well as an intense lobbying effort in Austin. It was heavily supported by the members of the marine industry and local communities.
“We want to thank all our members and supporters who responded to our call for action. They wrote letters and called legislators, contributed money, and made many trips to Austin. Their efforts paid off,” said Jay Dee Jackson, Treasurer of TMIC and Sales Manager for Galati Yacht Sales. “Our well-organized grass roots effort was extremely effective and we achieved the goal we sought.”
There are so many people to thank that were instrumental in passing the bill, such as Greg and Glenda Allison, John Preston, Jay Dee Jackson, Senator Larry Taylor, Representative Greg Bonnen, Genie Morrison, Dennis Paul, Ed Thompson, Todd Hunter, and Senator Louis Kolkhorst and many other rank and file members of TMIC.
Finally we all want to thank TMIC and all the local marine service people that helped pass the Texas Marine Industry Bill as it will have a major economic impact for years to come. A celebratory party is set for Nov. 9 at Lakewood Yacht Club from 6-10 p.m. For more information call 281-474-5875.
For more bill information feel free to contact the Texas Legislative committee
John Preston 832-788-2860
John Bowen 832-226-2881
Randy Bright 713-816-2165
Jay Dee Jackson 941-720-5081