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  #1  
Old 08-17-2009, 10:24 AM
Lucky Lucky is offline
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Newburyport Boat Basin Land Storage - Ticket?

Did anyone else get a ticket on their boat for not having the Newburyport "slip sticker" It's a $100 ticket...i've kept my boat at NBB for 5 years and have never heard of such a requirement from the town...nor have i received any notice that it was mandatory. I was told this is a waterway pass...so boats on land shouldn't be ticketed.

Plan to request a hearing...hope all others are as well to fight this. Maybe if we hit them back as a group, we'll be able to get these fine's lowered or forgiven.

Any insight appreicated by those who know more than me about this...
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2009, 11:47 AM
ag1 ag1 is offline
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I keep mine on a trailer in a Newburyport boatyard and I'm required to have a sticker.

The town has notified boatyards and marinas in the past, usually mid-summer. They give you a brief period to get the sticker before ticketing people.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:56 PM
Gadabout Guinea's Avatar
Gadabout Guinea Gadabout Guinea is offline
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Here's the ordinance:

(e) Waterways fee.
(1) All vessels over 16 feet, that are required to register with the state or Federal Government, and operating in Newburyport waters over thirty (30) days per season must procure and display a Waterways Permit sticker:
(2) All vessels in rack storage or stored on trailers in Newburyport Marinas must procure and display a waterways permit sticker. However, any vessel that will not be used during the current boating season may apply for an exemption from the harbormaster with written proof on non-usage.

(taken from http://www.municode.com/Resources/ga...d=11344&sid=21)


It seems they have written it for operating in NBPT waters or being stored in NBPT. It's posted at all the marinas and at Cashman's. I don't remember them checking for it at Cashman's though. I had heard from someone that it applies to storage too and have warned a few friends who store their boats at Overland's. A couple of times a year they cruise the marinas, checking for it. I imagine with the revenue difficulties all municipalities are experiencing, they've probably stepped up enforcement. You might not want to volunteer that you have had your boat there for 5 years previously without getting a sticker. Ignorance of the statute is never defensable in court. You also have to pay excise tax to Newburyport for your boat even if you don't live there. If they ask you for excise tax receipts in your hearing for past years, you may be doubly screwed.
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Last edited by Gadabout Guinea; 08-17-2009 at 01:01 PM..
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2009, 08:44 AM
gf2020 gf2020 is offline
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I kept my boat on the trailer at Ferry Landing for 3 seasons and I never had a Newburyport sticker. I did, however, have a Town of Newbury sticker ($50) on my boat and I suspect the communities may have reciprocity, if they were checking. However, I don't remember anyone checking '04, '05 and '06.

Regardless, sounds like you need to have the sticker since they are now checking. For that matter, you're supposed to pay your boat excise tax to the community where the boat is stored as well.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2009, 04:01 PM
Ron Ron is offline
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Boat Excise Tax???

I've owned a boat for 20+ years and never paid an excise tax on the boat. I do pay a very small excise tax on the trailer, but not the boat. What is the law?
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2009, 04:18 PM
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Onshore Onshore is offline
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The law is the town(s) where boat is stored can tax the boat. Some are more aggressive than others. I paid taxes in Gloucester and Barnstable when I lived in Mass going back to 1959.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2009, 09:06 PM
FireFly FireFly is offline
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NBB is private property and the previous owners would not allow the harbor master access to enforce the statue. The new owners allow the harbor master access so you are required to have a sticker.

If you are on land storage I'd ask the town to prove you are using it 30 days per year. That said, if it's stored and not used you are still responsible for the excise tax to the town.
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2009, 01:20 PM
gf2020 gf2020 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron View Post
I've owned a boat for 20+ years and never paid an excise tax on the boat. I do pay a very small excise tax on the trailer, but not the boat. What is the law?
http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/60b-2.htm


PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT

TITLE IX. TAXATION

CHAPTER 60B. EXCISE ON BOATS, SHIPS AND VESSELS IN LIEU OF LOCAL PROPERTY TAX

Chapter 60B: Section 2. Excise taxes

Section 2. (a) Except as hereinafter provided there shall be assessed and levied by each city and town in each fiscal year on every vessel, and its equipment, for the privilege of using the waterways of the commonwealth, an excise measured by the value thereof, as hereinafter defined and determined, at the rate of ten dollars per thousand of valuation.

(b) Any person who owns such a vessel on July first shall annually, on or before August first, make a return on oath to the assessors of the city or town where such vessel is habitually moored or docked, or in the case of a vessel which has no mooring or docking space, where said vessel is principally situated, setting forth the vesselís registration or documentation number, if any; an adequate description, as well as the ownerís estimate of the fair cash value of said vessel and any engine or motor used to propel said vessel, as of the next preceding July first; and the place of habitual mooring or docking or other principal location of said vessel.

(c) For the purpose of computing the excise under this chapter the value of each such vessel, and its equipment, shall be deemed to be the fair cash value as determined by the assessors of each city and town, but not in excess of the following values:


(d) The payment of such excise shall exempt such owner from any other tax applicable to said vessels and their equipment under chapter fifty-nine.

(e) If an owner fails to make such a return within the time herein provided, the assessors may abate the tax otherwise imposed by this chapter if such owner provides the assessors with a reasonable excuse for failure to file such return and if the return is filed on or before October thirty-first of the year in which the tax is assessed; but no abatement hereunder shall reduce the tax otherwise imposed to an amount less than the sum of the excise imposed by this section plus fifty per cent thereof.

(f) Said excise shall be assessed in the city or town where the vessel is habitually moored or docked, or in the case of a ship or vessel which has no mooring or docking space, where the ship or vessel is principally situated; provided, however, that if more than one municipality owns property in a harbor, the municipality which maintains such harbor in which the vessel is habitually moored, docked or situated shall assess and collect said excise; and provided, further, that where more than one municipality maintains portions of the harbor, the municipality which maintains that portion of the harbor in which the vessel is habitually moored, docked or situated shall assess and collect said excise.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the board of assessors from granting an abatement in any case in which the excise aforesaid is, in the opinion of the board, excessive.

(h) If during any fiscal year ownership of a boat subject to an excise under this chapter is transferred by sale or otherwise, or if during any fiscal year the owner of a boat subject to such an excise removes to another state and registers a boat in such other state and surrenders or does not renew his registration in this state, the excise under this chapter shall be reduced, upon application, by an abatement equal to the proportion of an excise under this chapter on such boat for the full fiscal year which the number of months in said year remaining after the month in which such transfer by sale or otherwise or such surrender or expiration of registration occurs bears to twelve.

(i) All sums received from the excise imposed under this chapter shall be paid into the treasury of the city or town and fifty per cent of said excise shall be credited to the municipal waterways improvement and maintenance fund established under the provisions of section five G of chapter forty.
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2009, 10:05 AM
Mig's Mig's is offline
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I also received a citation the same week Lucky did (probably the same day).

I leave the boat on a trailer because I want the flexibility to boat in different locations and because I donít have enough time on the boat to justify the cost of a slip and added maintenance associated with a slip or mooring.

For the majority of the season I leave the boat at Newburyport Boat Basin. However, I also use the boat in New Hampshire. I live in NH. I register the boat in NH and pay Registration and Property Taxes to NH. I also use the boat in Maine and store it there in the off-season (which frankly, is where it stays for the majority of the time).

So, even after researching this issue and reading the other replies to this thread I am not sure what my responsibilities are..... Bottom line, I want to do the right thing. I just donít want, nor do I feel itís fair to pay duplicate amounts to multiple state and local entities.

Here are my questions, any comments or input is welcome.

1. By paying the fine, the citation states that Iím admitting to the offence. However paying the fine is not sufficient; I then need to get a Waterway sticker. To get a Waterway sticker do I need to pay excise tax to MA? Iíve already paid the equivalent to NH.
2. The post by gf2020, cites Massachusetts Law on excise taxes for boats, chapter 60B Section 2.b states that excise tax is due ďwhere said vessel is principally situatedď. Does this mean the majority of the year? Does it mean more than 30 days a year? More than 30 days in a row?
3. Burden of proof. Is it my responsibility to prove that the boat NOT principally situated in MA, or does the burden rest with the City of Newburyport?
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2009, 02:51 PM
Yukahey Yukahey is offline
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Newburyport Slip Sticker

They say ignorance of the law is no excuse but try finding the law which exists only on one lonely sign at the Newburyport Boat Basin on the front of the bait store no less. The Harbor Master does not have it listed on their website nor does the town. Hell, I need to have a sign to tell me what the speed limit is before I can get a ticket for speeding, right? I'm fighting it.
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