Archive for » March 30th, 2015«

Budget includes sales-tax carveout for yachts

ALBANY—A measure in New York’s state budget would exempt very expensive boats from sales tax, under an agreed-upon budget bill printed over the weekend.

The so-called “yacht credit” has not been part of the budget discussion this year, but it appeared quietly over the weekend in a revenue bill, under section SS, that would exempt any portion of the purchase of a boat above $230,000 from sales tax.

The idea of the yacht sales tax exemption isn’t entirely new. As Capital reported last year, a so-called “clean-up” budget bill that was never introduced would have also contained some kind of sales tax exemption for expensive boats.

Ron Deutsch, executive director of the left-leaning Fiscal Policy Institute, called the measure “pretty ironic.”


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“We could not agree on property tax relief for struggling homeowners but somehow we can agree that people who are purchasing yachts shouldn’t have to pay sales tax in New York,” Deutsch said. “I wasn’t aware that there was a huge yacht lobby that was pushing for this. This really kind of seemed to come out of nowhere, and I’m surprised to see it in the final revenue bill.”

“The ironic part is that your average Joe in New York who wants to go out and buy a small 16-foot bass fishing boat for his own personal use will actually pay sales tax, but someone going out and buying a yacht isn’t going to be subject to the same tax,” Deutsch said.



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Rounding the Horn

Team Alvimedica , skippered by Bristol’s Charlie Enright, rounded Cape Horn Monday at the front of the shrinking Volvo Ocean Race fleet. The passage past sailing’s most respected landmark was a fast one with boats speeds in the mid-twenties. The night before, another of the entries, the Chinese Dongfeng Race Team boat, lost the top of its mast and was sailing in to port. That left five boats actively racing as the boats crossed from Pacific Ocean to Atlantic and headed for the Leg 5 finish in Itajai, Brazil. The fleet will next be racing to Newport with arrival in May. Photo by Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

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Pursuit Boats adds Southern California dealer

Posted on March 30th, 2015

Pursuit Boats appointed Alexander Marine California as its exclusive Southern California dealer.

Pursuit said the Alexander Marine facility is in Newport Beach, Calif., and has established itself in the market for 35 years.

“Our new-boat and yacht sales are focused on luxury brands with uncompromised quality and great business acumen. Pursuit Boats share the same values we have incorporated into our business over the years. We are excited about continuing the tradition and sharing the great heritage of Pursuit with our existing and future Southern California clients,” sales vice president Ray Prokorym said in a statement.

“We’re excited about working with the exceptional staff at Alexander Marine California and look forward to the upcoming Lido Boat Show, along with other exciting local events for our Pursuit customer base in the Southern California market,” Pursuit regional sales manager Ron Burkdoll said. “Pursuit remains a dominant brand in this market, and we expect to grow our brand even more through our relationship with Alexander Marine California.”

Pursuit is a division of Holland, Mich.-based S2 Yachts.

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Boat sales tax would be capped under NJ bill

New Jersey is charging boaters tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and fees, but two South Jersey lawmakers are sponsoring legislation that they hope will level the playing field for businesses who build or sell boats in the state. 

Sailing boat
Sailing boat (Lidian Neeleman, ThinkStock)

Under current state law, the state’s 7 percent sales tax is imposed on those that purchase boats in New Jersey and those that live in New Jersey, but purchase a watercraft vehicle in another state. In addition, the state also imposes the 7 percent sales tax on out-of-state residents that keep a home in New Jersey as well.

State Senators Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May Court House) and Jim Whelan (D-Northfield) introduced legislation on March 9 that would establish a sales tax cap on boat purchases at $20,000.

“In my mind, overtaxing causes diminishing returns. We want to keep them in New Jersey. We want to keep people building boats in New Jersey. We want those who recreate in New Jersey and fish in New Jersey to stay in New Jersey,” Van Drew said.

The sales tax can be bad for business, especially since many other states already have a sales tax cap on the books. For example, Florida caps sales tax on boat sales at $20,000.

Under the proposal, the sales tax cap would cover non-commercial boats such as motorboats and larger vessels such as sailboats, yachts and cruisers.

State Senator Whelan said the higher the sticker price of the boat, the higher that 7 percent sales tax in New Jersey zooms. Whelan said charging the full 7 percent state sales tax is “limiting.”

Van Drew said he thinks capping the sales tax at $20,000 is fair.

“It’s similar to what some states have. I would actually like a zero figure, but I don’t know if we can get that through the Legislature. We’re going to have to fight to get this through the Legislature,” Van Drew said. He added that it’s possible the figure might lower to $15,000 if the bill can gain support.

Van Drew said the cap would also help other boat-related businesses along the Jersey Shore, repair facilities and those businesses engaged in supporting sport fisherman.


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Sailing-Cape Horn, bergs and a storm await battered global race fleet

ALICANTE, Spain, March 28 (Reuters) – Volvo Ocean Race’s six-strong fleet, already battered by the Southern Ocean, sails in to the toughest part of the nine-month marathon offshore challenge over the next two days.

It is now heading for Cape Horn in southern Chile, a graveyard for countless sailors since it was first used as a trading route in the early 17th century.

The region is the only time in the 38,738-nautical mile race where the boats are likely to see icebergs and to complicate matters, a huge storm is building up behind them in the Southern Ocean.

Earlier on Saturday, the Chinese boat Dongfeng Race Team, skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier, led the leg from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil, but by less than 10nm from four other crews.

Caudrelier admitted that the stress was becoming “wearing” on his eight-man team.

“I think it’s unique in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race (launched in 1973) to have a fleet battling like this in these latitudes,” he told Reuters on Saturday.

“Tomorrow, we’ll be even further south and the water temperature is going to drop. I’m expecting the hardest part of this race in the next 48 hours.”

Dongfeng was one of three boats to narrowly avoid capsizing earlier in the week when they crashed over on their sides midway through the Southern Ocean on the 6,776nm leg — a so-called ‘Chinese gybe’ or ‘death roll’.

Miraculously, all the crews avoided anything more serious than cuts and bruises and damage to boats have been repaired on the move.

After some 3,000nm miles of sailing in the toughest leg of the race, Dongfeng lead by just 5.1nm from Dutch boat Team Brunel with overall leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, MAPFRE (Spain) and Team Alvimedica (Turkey/U.S.) no more than 4nm further adrift.

The all women’s crew of Team SCA (Sweden) were nearly 100nm behind that pack. They and MAPFRE also suffered Chinese gybes on Tuesday.

The leg is expected to conclude around April 5-6 after three weeks of sailing from New Zealand. In all, the boats will sail nine legs and visit 11 ports. They finish the race on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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