New York state budget to offer sales tax break on yachts

The new New York state budget would offer sales tax breaks on purchases of yachts.

Not just any old boat.

The budget bill before the Legislature says it would exempt sales taxes on the portion of the purchase above $230,000.

It applies to any watercraft except a sea plane.

The Fiscal Policy Institute, a budget watchdog, called it “one of the oddest and most offensive additions to the final revenue bill that was not in the executive budget.”

In budget speak, that means the Legislature added the tax break to the budget proposed in January by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“I was not aware the YACHT-UP NY program was even on the table?” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. “This seems like a case of some seriously misplaced priorities.”

Deutsch was referring to Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program, which offers tax breaks to new businesses on certain university campuses. Deutsch is disappointed the budget does not include property tax relief for middle class homeowners.

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos is already defending the luxury boat exemption.

“The justification for that is it creates jobs,” Skelos told the Albany Times-Union. “It makes New York state more competitive.”

The yacht tax break is, of course, under “Part SS” of the bill.

Contact Michelle Breidenbach anytime: Email | Twitter | 315-470-3186.


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