Florida’s $18,000 cap on sales tax for yacht purchases was a boon to buyers and the South Florida marine industry, but there were unintended consequences. The cap made yachts hailing from Florida targets in the eyes of state tax authorities elsewhere on the East Coast.
Date: Friday, Nov. 6, 2015
Place: The AIM Marine Group Pavilion at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
Cost: $100 each
To educate the yachting community about this and other “fine print” threats to the enjoyment of their vessels, Yachts International is sponsoring twin seminars by veteran maritime attorney Todd Lochner during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Under the heading “Boat Show Briefing,” owners and buyers are invited to attend “Staying Two Steps Ahead of the Taxman” at 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6 and “How to Hire Captains & Crew” at 3 p.m. at the AIM Marine Group Pavilion at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. A free shuttle will take attendees to and from the boat show if needed.
The taxation seminar is designed for any owner with a yacht registered in a low-tax state that wishes to cruise the East Coast. The hiring seminar is for owners who need crew to operate their vessels or intend to place their boats in charter. Using examples ripped from his case files, Lochner details ways to avoid falling victim to ruthless enforcement policies in high-tax states, as well as the potentially damaging peculiarities of maritime employment law.
“Failure to heed tax laws, which are complicated and vary from state to state, can cost yacht owners hundreds of thousands of dollars and sloppy employment practices can result in expensive litigation,” Lochner says.
Lochner is not an ordinary lawyer. He’s a yachtsman himself and his specialty is maritime law in all its facets. It goes without saying that yacht owners have their own lawyers, but as Lochner points out, few are attuned to the nuances of maritime taxation and labor laws. “I am frequently called in to try to undo the harm that owners have suffered by heeding advice from lawyer friends or corporate counsel,” Lochner says.
Lochner, whose office is in Annapolis, graduated cum laude from the Tulane Law School, with a Maritime Law Certificate from the Tulane Maritime Law Center and a Certificate of Advanced Study and Training in Arbitration. While attending Tulane, Lochner was a member of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, where he has also published. His undergraduate studies were completed at The George Washington University.