Q: My spouse and I were divorced and he or she got the boat as part of the settlement. Can the Assessor bill the boat in my spouse’s name only?
A: If, in a divorce proceeding, a spouse was given sole title to the boat prior to 12:01 a.m. January 1 (lien date), then that spouse alone would be liable for the tax bill created for that lien date. If title passed to your spouse after January 1, the bill would be issued to the owner or owners of record as of that date and, if you were both owners, the Assessor could not remove your name. If your spouse was awarded the vessel prior to January 1, but the bill was issued in both your names, you need to provide the Assessor’s Boat Section with copies of those court documents which ordered the transfer of title to your spouse.