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Old 04-14-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Amelia Island
Vessel Name: DAGNY
Posts: 20

Hello - while cruising, I lost my homesteader's status (3% cap on raising taxes). Then the home went into "market value" tax rate. OK, tough. I moved back home, re-instated my status. No mercy from the county, taxes are high. My question: What if I want to return to cruising? I can't bear another tax increase! I've been advised to lie better. Get a friend to collect my mail, pretend to be home. I don't think I should have to lie - if I were active-duty military the law provides protection... Should cruisers be penalized like this? I do not have any other home. Am I alone in this dilemma?

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
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Posts: 27

You don't state if someone else is occupying the home while you were cruising?? I think that if you are renting it out then your no longer entitled to the homestead exemption.. If you still have an immediate family member residing there then you could still be claimed as your residence.

You can't have it both ways. Sorry!

I know you situation to some extent. I a senior and only want my property taxes frozen as a low income senior. My exemption is based on my Gross income and the only exemption is medical expenses. I am retire military and with medicare I have almost no medical expense. (Yah! I know I should be greatful for that.). What I want to deduct is my ex-wife's share of my retirement pay. I don't begrudge her that share but it is still considered part of my gross income (for this property tax situation) even though she pays the taxes on it. Sorry! Kinda off topic!!


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Old 04-15-2011, 02:34 AM   #3
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Not to get too snippy, but do you really think that cruisers should have the same status as members of the military?

What did you do with your house while you were cruising? Leave it empty? Or did you rent it out to supplement your cruising kitty?
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 04-15-2011, 03:35 AM   #4
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Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

OK, I'm totally lost here but let me ramble a bit.

What state are you in? I know people who claim their boat as their home--they "homestead" in California. They do it to preserve some rights regarding the boat not being taken away (I suppose creditors..) and being evicted from marinas (though I don't really know how that one works either.)

However, taxes are taxes are taxes. Many cruisers have their boats documented by the USCG and thus they don't have the boat registered in a state anyway. When they return, they pay taxes, yes.

Since boats don't increase in value the way that real estate does...I don't get it...

OH! Silly me, I finally DO get it--you're trying to keep your homestead exemption on your property--the property that must have been rented out and thus really isn't eligible for homesteading anyway until you return, right?

Same status/benefits as active duty military? No, a cruiser or ex-pat is not out there risking his/her life for our country. Today's active duty military have very few benefits. If a particular state is giving them a tax break, great! Military (and federal employees) who are stationed abroad pay taxes on their pay unless they're in a war zone. Ex-pats (that would be cruisers who are working abroad or anyone else who is making money abroad) get to exclude the first $75K or so of income from taxation here in the states while they're abroad. Now, there's a sad case where our military pay MORE than other Americans who live abroad.

I'm glad you have a home to return to and hope you'll enjoy cruising again soon.
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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Old 04-15-2011, 07:52 AM   #5
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I agree with Brenda on this one.

I am former Military but did not finish the 20 yrs to get retirement, personal reasons and I do have honorable discharge so that is fine. I live outside the US and DON'T work for the government or a US company and they still want to tax me on any income I make over 90K (that is the current level when dealing with the UK and some EU countries when you take all the parts together). That I don't agree with as the US is the only country to do this that I know of and I know for sure is the only member of the G20 to do so. I believe the phrase taxation without..... . Heck Italy does not tax outside of Italy and gives representation to Italians living abroad in the Italian government.

When in the US I gladly pay my taxes and when outside I will pay when I owe, but I promise you that I use every legal means (lying leaves internal stains that I don't like) to pay as little as possible. Reason? the state department does a very good job of not helping US citizens abroad and every time we come to visit family we get treated to a system that is fascist (sorry but go look at history the "security systems" current in place in the US are carbon copies of the border systems the Nazi's had in place in Germany before they started rounding up the Jews.

Personally, pay the taxes you legally owe, Vote from an informed position (don't trust the parties and definitely not the media), stay informed and be willing to protest when the government goes outside it's mandate, and lastly never ever trust a corporation to do what is really in the best interests of the public.

Just my two cents worth.

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Old 04-15-2011, 06:18 PM   #6
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Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Michael--Americans abroad do have representation via their elected officials in their home state. Keeping up voter registration is important for that reason. Absentee balloting, etc.

Glad to hear the federal exclusion is now 90K for US residents other than those who work for the federal gov't abroad (and who have no exclusion).

The only Americans who really DO have "taxation without representation" are residents of the District of Columbia. Residents of the US territories have no federal taxation and no representation. Residents of DC have federal taxation but no federal Senate seats and a representative in the house who CAN vote but who's vote doesn't count. No representation at the federal level.

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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