If you purchase marine gasoline, you may be eligible for a 17.5¢ refund per gallon.
When Washington Boaters go to the fuel dock and purchase gasoline for a boat, boaters pay a GAS TAX, which is included in the price of your marine fuel. The majority of this 37.5¢ per gallon gas tax is a road tax and intended to be paid by drivers of cars (– not boats!) to maintain highways, bridges, and ferries. Boats do not extend wear and tear on highways, bridges, and ferries, so a portion of the tax has been declared exempt from boat fuel. However, boaters must do the work to file a claim to get the refund for this gas tax.
The Washington motor boat gas tax refund process is largely unclaimed by boaters. Many boaters are unaware of the refund benefit or don't see enough value in the refund process to bother with filing a claim. The DOL Refunds Unit has been very helpful working with RBAW to help get the word out to boaters.
Some of the unclaimed fuel tax refunds goes to the Recreation and Conversation Office (RCO) to fund marine infrastructure projects such as pump out stations, boat ramps, port improvements, and other state projects to benefit boating.
According to the Department of Licensing (DOL), boaters who file a claim can receive a partial refund of the 37.5¢ tax they paid at the fuel dock. The difference between the 37.5¢ per gallon paid and the 20¢ per gallon refund is made up of: 1) State sales tax, and 2) a penny per gallon contribution to the Coastal Protection Fund. The DOL has devised an "Average Cost" to simplify the process which gives the boater a flat sales tax rate of approximately 17.5¢ per gallon.
Most DIESEL FUEL sold at fuel docks already has the state road tax deducted from the price at the pump. There is neither road tax paid nor refund due for most marine diesel fuel. Untaxed marine diesel fuel is identified by its dyed color, usually red. If a boater buys clear diesel fuel, it is most likely taxed and that tax would be entitled to the same refund process as gasoline. Check with your fuel dock on the tax status of their diesel sold.
How to File your Claim:
The link to our website for refunds is: http://dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/ftrefunds.html. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Paul Johnson, Fuel Tax Manager
Department of Licensing
Fuel Tax Section
P.O. Box 9228
Olympia, WA 98507-9228