THE QUESTION: Should buyers of new boats be allowed to register their vessel with the U.S. Coast Guard for use in national emergencies and therefore avoid playing applicable local sales taxes?

My mate and I were thinking of upgrading our 1979 18-foot, V-hull Lund Pike. 

We could even consider another Lund V-hull which makes it possible to remain stable while pulling out great slabs of crappie.


THE QUESTION: Should buyers of new boats be allowed to register their vessel with the U.S. Coast Guard for use in national emergencies and therefore avoid playing applicable local sales taxes?
My mate and I were thinking of upgrading our 1979 18-foot, V-hull Lund Pike. 
We could even consider another Lund V-hull which makes it possible to remain stable while pulling out great slabs of crappie.  Maybe spend . . . $14,000? 
Well, I did the research about getting a new boat documented with the Coast Guard. 
The prime reason to get documented with the Coast Guard, it seems, is to avoid paying sales tax to the great state of Missouri in exchange for letting the federal government confiscate our boat for going to war and I just knew that the federal government would want our fishing boat in case Islamo-fascist terrorists come to the Lake of the Ozarks. 
We would certainly be prepared to sacrifice our boat, particularly if the crappie weren’t biting.
If you pay sales tax on a new boat in Missouri, you pay at a rate of 5.475 percent in the county.  So, doing a little figuring, our new Lund’s sales taxes would amount to around $750. 
I learned that we wouldn’t even be able to document our new boat because it doesn’t  “have a bed and a head and doesn’t displace enough area.” 
Even if I wanted to buy the best bass boat possible for my beloved mate, we would not be able to register with the Coast Guard because bass boats don’t “have a bed and a head and don’t displace enough area.”
Forget fishing, we got to thinking. Why not go for a big boat and high speed and maybe making some splendid waves crashing all over the place? We found a great deal on a Fountain 2007 35 Lightning with Twin 525’s. White and purple. And there it was . . . the deep V- Hull that provides stability just like our Lund. The boat was a steal at $199,990, which we knew we could put on our credit card. 
To pay sales tax in Missouri on the boat would be more than a whopping $10,000. 
Whew!  Tough to swallow. So exploring registration with the Coast Guard, we found that our “in-lieu taxes” would only be $3,000.  Of course, there would be the $7.50 certification fee and the registration fee of $100, but what a savings on taxes.  Holy smokes!  That amounts to about $7,000 that the state of Missouri would never see in sales tax revenues.
So there you have it. 
If you buy a little boat and want to register it with the Coast Guard so you don’t have to pay sales taxes, you can’t. But if you buy a big boat for big bucks, you cut your tax rate by about two thirds. 
Something’s fishy about that. 
You know us Missourians. We like things to be fair and we don’t cotton to people getting a bigger tax break and avoiding their tax responsibilities just because they have the money to spend on a big boat. 
What if there was that kind of thinking with cars? If you buy a Lexus with the idea that the federal government could use it in war, maybe you wouldn’t have to pay sales tax but only “in-lieu” taxes at a reduced cost. But if you buy an economy car, you would still have to pay sales tax. 
Or what if the idea were extended to homes where you could buy a multi-million dollar home and only pay “in-lieu” taxes at a reduced cost and the federal government could maybe quarter troops in time of war, but if you bought a modest home, you would still pay the going rate on sales tax?
Our family isn’t really buying the Fountain but this whole investigation got me to thinking about who benefits from this besides people with the big bucks to buy big boats.
It certainly isn’t the state of Missouri; it loses money on this proposition with each large boat being documented with the Coast Guard. 
However, when legislation comes up to close this loophole in the law, it keeps failing. What’s with that?
Well, I’ll just plan to sit in my Lund next week and contemplate the meaning of the fairness of things and catch some crappie and feel safe that all these boats will be there when we are invaded here in the Midwest.