Liberal groups plan to protest today at a downtown Manhattan marina after the state budget included a tax break for purchases of yachts and planes.
The union-backed groups, including Citizen Action and the Fiscal Policy Institute, are ripping the inclusion of the tax break in budget bills that were approved yesterday. The budget doesn’t include a minimum-wage increase, but the tax break for the rich boat and plane owners.
“The current budget doesn’t include a minimum wage increase for the working class or relief for homeowners facing foreclosure,” the groups said in a statement, “but it does have a sales-tax exemption for buyers of luxury boats and planes worth above $230,000, a true testament to the influence dirty money from billionaire Hedge Fund investors have in government and politics to expand their wealth.”
Under the bill, the purchase of a private airplane that seats fewer than 20 people and can carry less than 6,000 pounds would be exempt from sales tax. The amount of a boat purchase price greater than $230,000 wouldn’t be subject to sales tax.
The protest will be at 1 p.m. at the North Cove Marina at World Financial Center.
Lawmakers and businesses who supported the measure said it’s way to make New York competitive with yacht sales in other states that have either lower sales taxes or no taxes at all on luxury boat sales. Lawmakers estimated the state would lose $13 million under the tax breaks on the plane sales.
“At the end of the day, the business will go out of state. It’s really a regional market, not a state market,” said Michael Beers, assistant sales manager McMichael Yacht Brokers in Mamaroneck, Westchester County.
The measure wasn’t included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget, but the boat tax break was included in the Assembly and Senate one-house budgets.
(AP file photo)