Charter Boat Fees and Taxes – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

How does that sound to you? A charter boat captain says he has to pay to pick up passengers at a city marina. And if he then stops to pick up the passengers, the city fines him. It sounded crazy to him and that’s why he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Do not doubt Sergio when he says he has salt water in his veins.

Sergio Bezsonoff: “Oh yes, I’ve been at sea for more than 50 years. I was in the Navy. I had my own fishing boat. We have founded a company and do charter.

This is Sergios Charter Aelous, a beautiful 47 foot catamaran that takes people to all of South Florida’s waters.

Sergio Bezsonoff: “We bring people to the bay, to the sandbank, to the keys.”

But to do that, of course, Sergio stays pending his fees. AKA, taxes.

Sergio Bezsonoff: “My boat is registered in the USA. My boat is registered in the state of Florida, my company is registered in the city of Miami. “

And there is more. He recently made a stop at the Miami Beach urban marina, where he pays $ 170 every time he docks to pick up a few passengers. But a code enforcement officer said, “Wait, what about the Miami Beach pay?”

Sergio Beszonoff: “Do you have a business license to work in the city of Miami Beach? I don’t have a business license in the city of Miami Beach because my business is not in Miami Beach. “

Little did Sergio know he needed another business license to pick up passengers and pay for the marina, but he thanked the Code Enforcement Officer for the warning and backed off. A few days later he found that the officer was not so kind and had hit him hard.

Sergio Beszonoff: “One for running a Miami Beach business without a proper license, which is $ 1,000 and the other is for pickup to pick up people at a public facility for $ 250.”

Needless to say, Sergio was surprised that he needed a business license to get into the marina.

Sergio Beszonoff: “So if I pick up people in Miami Beach, do I have to have a permit in Miami Beach? A permit in Miami? A permit in Key Biscayne? “

Sergio wonders why the city comes after boats when the streets are filled with Uber and Lyft drivers.

Sergio Beszonoff: “So does he have to have a license from Hialeah? From North Miami? From Miami? Same goes for me: I work all over Biscayne Bay. “

Miami Beach said Sergio could appeal. And then they held out their hand again.

Sergio Beszonoff: “I have to enclose a check for $ 106 for each of the quotations.”

Needless to say, Sergio feels immersed in all of the registration fees – and now a fine of $ 1,250.

Sergio Beszonoff: “I want these quotes to be withdrawn.”

Well, Howard, delivery drivers don’t have a driver’s license for every city they stop in. Do boat owners need to have one?

Howard Finkelstein: “This is actually a complex legal issue and starts with interstate trade. Yes, a government agency can force a charter boat to pay to dock at a public marina. And the difference between a boat and a delivery guy like Uber is that they’re not taxed right now, but cities could try taxing the delivery guys in the future and could get away with it legally. “

We contacted Miami Beach. A spokesman wrote, “These commercial operations that take place at the marina are considered charter operations that require the collection of a Miami Beach City Business Tax.”

Regarding Uber, Lyft, or other delivery companies, they said this was “not applicable to this analysis”.

Sergio Beszonoff: “I still think that’s ridiculous.”

Sergio will pay for the appeal because it feels like it has been established. He paid to dock at the city marina and then was fined for docking at the city marina.

Sergio Beszonoff: “I don’t understand. There is something dishonest or unethical about it. “

Sergio will argue on his appeal that he had no idea he needed a license to pick up passengers and the marina that charged his docking fee, or the Code Enforcement Officer who fined him $ 1,250 had him should warn. We’ll be at the hearing to see what the judge decides.

A salty problem got you drifting? Ready to dock it with someone? Lift anchor and charter with us.
We don’t need a license to help, but hopefully we can help you sail away.

Email: [email protected]
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at [email protected]
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