My colleagues at the New England Center for Investigative Journalism and I recently finished an investigation into Massachusetts’ excise tax system. The formula used to determine how much Mass. boaters pay in excise taxes means that a $60,000 boat would pay the same amount in excise tax as a $6 million boat as long as they were the same length and built in the same year.
We also discovered that the system, which a former state auditor referred to as “broken” and “ineffective,” results in the loss of millions in tax revenues from Commonwealth cities and towns.Simply finding boat owners is so difficult for some towns and cities so they have given up on collecting the statutorily required tax.
The final story appeared last Sunday in newspapers in Lowell, Attleboro, Cape Cod, and Worcester. The Dallas Morning News even linked to the story. The story ran last night on WCVB Channel 5 in Boston.
Read the full story here on NECIR’s website.
See WCVB Channel 5’s report here.