New York officials sail into storm over luxury-yacht tax breaks

New York lawmakers have sailed into a storm with ordinary workers after their attempts to reform the state budget somehow included a major tax-break for luxury yacht buyers.

Tax break on luxury-yachts in New York

Tax break on luxury-yachts in New York. Image by Maxine Simpson / CC BY 2.0

After tossing and turning on a number of mainline issues in education and ethics and postponing other contentious issues, the elected officials found common ground on yachts.

The New York Post reports that while the first $230,000 of all boat sales would still be fully taxed, there would be no tax on purchases higher than that amount. It also notes that the same deal applies to the sale of private planes.

Instead of bailing on the issue, legislators have come out fighting by defending their decision as a job-protection measure.

They claim that currently no one buys yachts in the state because Florida offers almost similar deals.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Florida had warmer weather which meant that people go there and leave their boats all year round. He inferred that the tax break would entice more people to buy and keep their yachts in New York.

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said the move was about job creation. “It makes New York competitive,” he added.

The Senate Democrats, in a sharp break with their Assembly colleagues, criticized the decision, stating that it appeared the yacht and airplane lobbies were more powerful than previously imagined.

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