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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Planes, yachts and tax breaks -- Part II



Searay510 A proposed tax break on yachts and planes may get even better.

At Monday's House Finance & Tax Council meeting, there will likely be an attempt to insert into a sprawling PCB a lower sales tax cap for the luxury items. The lower cap, from the already proposed $25,000 to $12,500, would kick in after roughly $208,400 of value. So the buyer of a $2 million plane would pay the same sales tax as the buyer of a $210,000 boat.

Rep. Tom Grady, the Naples Republican pushing the break, has support from Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek. The lawmakers say said it could spur people to purchase boats or planes in Florida, rather than taking steps to avoid paying taxes at all. Backers also contend Floridians would spent more money on accessories and other services.

Waldman tried to amend the proposal during a meeting last week but it failed on a split vote. Then there was a move to bump it up slightly. But time ran out.

"Wealthy people are smart enough to have accountants and lawyers that take advantage of tax loopholes," Waldman told the Buzz. "With this, you'll get revenue that you're not getting now."

Still, the argument has been ripped by some as tone deaf politics, especially at a time when legislators are trying to close other sales tax exemptions to close a severe budget gap.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:37pm]


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