Q: How can a state demand boat taxes and fee's from a boat owner who is not a citizen or legal resident of the state?

Massachusetts demands a boat excise tax and several fee's for using their waterways. Regardless the boat owner is not a citizen or legal resident of the state. This also means one cannot vote in the state because the person is not a citizen or legal resident. Examples Here: Boat excise tax; a waterway fee; a mooring fee; (if a mooring is used) and a non-resident fee. Just recently a salt-water fishing license. Boats federally registered by U.S.C.G. Documentation don't have to pay the state boat registration fee's or put state registration 2" inch high numbers on their boat. Course if the boat owner does not live in the state and has no address in the state, why would they anyway.

1 Lawyer Answer
Ali Shahrestani,
Ali Shahrestani,
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: In the same way you have to pay a highway toll when you're driving on the state roads, you'd have to pay boat taxes and fees for using the state's waters, regardless of residency/ citizenship. The state government is, proverbially, king of its castle. This is the basis of sovereign rights that is built into the US Constitution, particularly the 10th Amendment. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

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