Courtesy MarineMax
Source:, May 2019

The Texas House of Representatives last Friday appeared to kill a bill that lowers the state tax rate on boats. Then, three hours later, it re-voted on the bill and passed it by a large majority.

According to a story in the Houston Chronicle, House members voted 74 to 68 to kill a proposal that would have capped sales taxes on yachts up to 115 feet at $18,750. On a $1 million boat, that would reduce sales taxes by more than $60,000.

After voting down the bill, legislators reversed course and voted 82 to 55 to pass it. House Bill 4032 had already passed the Texas Senate 25 to 6 as an identical bill. It will now go to Texas Governor Greg Abbott who will decide whether to sign it into law.

State Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, told the paper that critics will see his bill as a tax break for yacht buyers. The real goal, Guillen said, is to help the state’s boating industry. Since 2010, when Florida capped sales taxes on boats at $18,000, the boating industry in Texas has suffered. Guillen said owners are buying larger boats in other states to avoid paying the sales tax.