Senate passes tax break for yacht owners

[private]The state Senate voted 35-16 Thursday night to pass legislation providing a tax break for yacht owners who bring their boats in to be repaired or retrofitted.

HB 125 has provided some unfortunate optics for lawmakers this year because it clearly is a tax break for the most affluent yacht owners while the owner of a bass boat will see his registration fees increase under another bill passed by the Legislature.

“At some point we’re going to have to make some decisions about picking winners and losers,” Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) said. “In this instance, the yacht folks are the big winners.”

“We send a message that if you come to the General Assembly and say, ‘I’ll create X number of jobs,’ you can negotiate for special treatment under our tax laws,” Sen. Josh McKoon said.

“We ought to have a broad-based policy that lowers the rate for everybody and provides every business with an opportunity to grow,” McKoon said.

Sen. Ben Watson (R-Savannah) said the tax break will put Georgia “on a level playing field” with two other states that specialize in large yacht repairs, New York and Florida.

The bill provides a sales tax exemption for equipment purchased for a yacht project after the first $500,000 has been expended, Watson said.

The House voted 120-45 to agree to Senate changes in the bill, sending it to the governor.

© 2017 by The Georgia Report


Tags: tax breaks , yacht repairs