Houseboat owners do not pay property taxes on their homes, according to Seattle-Houseboat.com. They do pay rental fees to marinas to dock the units, and marina owners pay taxes on those properties. As of 2015, the cost of dock rentals in Seattle ranges from $8.50 to $14 per foot, and owners who live on the houseboat typically pay another $55 to $150 if they live in the houseboat full-time. Washington also charges a 9 percent sales tax on houseboats.
Houseboat owners pay additional fees that most traditional homeowners do not pay, notes American Financial Resources, Incorporated. In some locations, houseboats require an annual relicensing fee. Owners may also need to pay pumping fees to empty holding tanks on the boat. Higher interest rates on the special mortgages financial institutions require for financing houseboats also eat away at the property tax savings.
Living on a houseboat may offer income tax breaks, explains Realtor.com. If the structure is a primary or secondary home, owners sometimes qualify for the deduction of the interest on the loan, as with other real estate. When considering possible tax breaks, owners should realize that each water authority organization and state has its own rules for living on the waters it controls and that tax breaks may vary by location.