Share Your Thoughts on the Proposed Boat Tax – Online

Friday, April 26, 2013

City leaders want to hear from you about the proposed boat tax.


We have created an online forum at, where citizens can share their thoughts on the issue. Your answers will help guide the City Council’s discussion.


Virginia Beach has not had a tax on pleasure boats since it was eliminated in 2002. City Manager Jim Spore, in his proposed budget, recommends reinstating this tax to help fund dredging projects.


The new tax on motorized pleasure boats would be $1 per $100 of value. That means a boat worth $30,000 would be taxed at $300 a year. About 13,000 pleasure boats would be affected. The tax does not apply to boats without motors – kayaks, canoes and rowboats.


The proposed budget also includes a decrease in the tax on commercial boats, airplanes and recreational vehicles. The current tax on those vehicles is $1.50 per $100 of value. The tax rate would be $1 per $100.


Proponents argue that the new tax would fund projects that directly benefit boat owners – dredging navigational channels. Such dredging costs about $3 million a year in city funding and comes from general revenues. Opponents argue that a new tax would drive pleasure boats out of Virginia Beach marinas. The tax on pleasure boats in nearby cities varies widely, from no tax in Hampton to $1.50 per $100 in Suffolk.


To see the complete budget proposal, click here. To read a Q&A on the budget, including the boat tax and dredging, click here.


The City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget May 14.


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