"Recreational boaters who purchase taxed fuel for use in their boats may be able to get a refund of all or part of that 'highway use tax' depending on the state in which the fuel was purchased.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, almost 4 million gallons of gasoline were used for non-highway purposes in 2001. Of this, almost 25% (993,837 gallons) was used in marine activities. The cost of this fuel generally includes a highway use tax of anywhere from 7.5¢/gallon to close to 30¢/gallon depending on the state.
Many states apply the tax on marine fuel towards boating programs through the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. But in other states the money does not get funneled into the marine community, and instead is put into the highway improvement fund. Since boats don't cause wear and tear on the highways, bridges, and ferries that benefit from that fund, applying marine fuel tax towards the highway improvement fund is widely viewed as unfair.
To deal with the problem, several states have instituted procedures to refund at least part of the tax to recreational boaters who take the time to fill out the required paperwork and provide receipts as needed. To encourage ABA members to get the refund to which they are entitled, we've compiled basic information on the procedures for each participating state. Most of the state forms include detailed instructions; be sure to read them carefully.
North Carolina's Department of Revenue will refund a portion of the tax paid to those recreational boaters who apply using form GAS 1201 ("Claim for Refund-Tax-paid Motor Fuel Used Off-Highway"). You should file a claim annually providing original receipts. You may file for purchases made three years back.
The forms are available on the NC Department of Revenue site Click to follow link... Form 1201 is year-specific, so be sure to download the appropriate form. The instructions are included in a separate document that you should print out and read carefully.
Mail the claim form and original invoices to:
North Carolina Department of Revenue
Motor Fuels Tax Division
PO Box 25000
Raleigh NC 27640-0950
If you have questions, call the NC Department of Revenue at (919) 733-3409, or send a fax to (919) 733-8654."
I think marine fuel is taxed enough already.