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Tax Break for Yacht Buyers Draws Criticism

Mar 30, 2015

By Pjotr Mahhonin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers have not yet finished the budget, but they are already getting blowback from a provision that would give a tax break to owners of luxury yachts.

The budget includes a sales tax break for purchases of boats worth more than $230,000, as well as for private airplanes. That angers Ron Deutsch, of Fiscal Policy Institute,  a union backed think tank that backs Governor Cuomo’s plan to give a property tax break for middle and working class homeowners who pay too much of their income on taxes.

“If you go out and buy a $10 million dollar luxury yacht, you’re going to get a huge tax break,” Deutsch said. “ I think it’s a bit unfair, to say the least.”

The budget includes money for the property tax break, but the details won’t be settled for months. A spokesman for the Senate Democrats says it’s “outrageous”  that there are tax breaks to buy a yacht but no provision to raise the state’s minimum wage in the budget.

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos says the tax breaks for luxury planes and boats “creates jobs”, and he compared it to the existing film industry tax credit.