Boat owners are except from gas and diesel taxes in Texas
EL PASO, Texas —
Every time you fill up your tank in Texas you pay about 38-cents per gallon in fuel taxes.
That includes when you gas up your boat. Some boaters we talked to weren't aware they could get some of that money back.
Boaters on Canyon Lake said you can't really put a price on the enjoyment they get being out on the water.
“Just getting out here with the family having fun, wakeboarding it's just a good family activity,” said Mike Schwichtenberg a boat owner.
“Every time I fill up it's about $800,” said Steve Bishop a boat owner.
A lot of boaters don't realize that since they're not using our roadways, they are exempt from the taxes on gas and diesel.
So the state allows them to apply for a refund of the tax they pay at the pump.
“I had no clue at all, nobody had brought that to my attention I never even thought about it,” said Patrick Looney, a boat owner.
State records we obtained show Texas collected $3.4 billion dollars in fuel taxes from car and boat owners in 2015.
In the last few years between 23 and 25 million of that could have been refunded, but it went unclaimed.
It's not just boats you can also get a refund of the fuel taxes you pay to fill up your tractor or lawnmower.
The state comptroller's office says most of the unclaimed money is given to the parks and wildlife department to maintain recreational areas.
But some is held in reserve for boat owners who file for a refund.
“Whatever money I could get back I would love to get back and maybe put it back into the boat again so definitely,” said Looney.
One boater who knew about the refunds says one year he got back $250.
But he thinks having to save and send in receipts was a hassle.
“I did know that but it's too hard to track it and the refund is not worth the tracking,” said Bishop.