UPDATE: Tonight, February 25, PWC Boat & RV Council Facebook group reports that the board unanimously agreed to revert the boats and trailer tax back to $0.0001. 

Several concerned readers recently reached out to us regarding a proposed increase to the personal property tax on boats in Prince William County, VA. Here's what we know so far:

prince william county
No boat tax in Lancaster County, VA. If Prince William County, VA, approves this increase, it could result in boats moving to other jurisdictions.

According to BoatU.S. Government Affairs, the County Board of Supervisors in Prince William County, VA, has proposed to raise the personal property tax on boats from $.00001 per $100 of assessed value to $3.70 per $100 of assessed value. For a boat worth $50,000, this will raise the property tax from essentially $0 to $1850 every year. That is a 370,000 percent tax increase.

A meeting is scheduled for tonight, February 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Board Chambers in Woodbridge, VA. If you keep your boat in Prince William County but can't attend the meeting, BoatUS recommends contacting the county supervisors to make your voice heard. 

BoatU.S. recommends sharing what the tax increase would mean for you and your family. Other points to consider:

  • The proposed rate will be significantly higher than surrounding counties, making it very likely that boats will move to other jurisdictions.
  • Boating is a middle-class activity and often the single largest family outdoor recreation expense.
  • Boat ownership is a discretionary expense, making it very sensitive to any increase in costs, particularly ongoing ones.
  • Boat owners have many options for where they can keep their boats, and it is easy for them to leave the county.

Another great resource on this issue is the PWC Boat & RV Alliance public Facebook group. Anyone can join the group to stay up to date on the latest news and share their concerns. 


Courtesy of the PWC Boat & RV Alliance Facebook group

Prince William County (PWC) reduced the personal property tax on boats in 1998, resulting in an influx of boat and RV owners coming from adjacent counties that at the time, had a personal property tax (including Stafford, Fairfax, and many counties in Maryland). This influx created increased boat and RV sales, services, and retail opportunities in PWC. Shortly after PWC reduced its personal property tax, Fairfax County followed suit. Then in 2013, Stafford County reduced its tax as well.

If you have further questions, please contact BoatU.S. Government Affairs at [email protected].