Boats & Personal Watercraft

How does the Assessor Department locate boats and other watercraft?
The Assessor Department receives boat registration and documentation information from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the U. S. Coast Guard, and marinas operating within the county. We also perform annual on-site inspections of all marinas and moorings in the county.
If my boat is for sale and is consigned to a broker, will it be assessed for property taxes?
Yes. Only boats owned and held in inventory for sale by a licensed dealer are exempt from property taxes.
When and where are boats assessed for property taxes?
State law requires that boats be assessed on January 1 of every year, at the site where they are regularly or routinely located. Boats regularly located in Orange County are assessed here, regardless of where they are registered.
Are taxes prorated between the buyer and seller when a boat is sold?
No.  Any arrangement regarding property tax liability must be worked out by the buyer and seller.
Will I be assessed even if my boat is out of the county on January 1?
Temporarily removing a boat from the county on January 1 will not exempt it from property taxes, if it is regularly or routinely located in the county.
Will I still be taxed if my boat was sold before January 1?
No, the new owner will be responsible for paying the taxes. However, you may receive a Notice of Pending Assessment if we do not receive the necessary information from the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you receive a notice, you should return the notice and provide the new owner's name and address, date of sale, and CF or documentation number.
I own two boats. Why did I receive one Vessel Property Statement for one and one Notice of Pending Assessment?
The value of the vessel will determine which form will be mailed to the owner. Generally, in Orange County, only boats valued over $100,000 receive a Vessel Property Statement.
Are boats held for rent eligible for the inventory exemption?
Boats are eligible for the inventory exemption if they are not out on rent on January 1.
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