OAK PARK and CHICAGO, Ill. - If the industry isn't successful in helping to prevent the federal government from enacting changes to the tax code, the impact could be devastating, worse than the luxury tax.
A special tax advisory panel appointed by the President to recommend changes to the federal tax code announced earlier this week that it supports slashing the current $1.1 million mortgage interest deduction cap by nearly 60 percent and eliminating the second home mortgage deduction, MRAA reported in a statement yesterday.
Both MRAA and NMMA strongly oppose this recommended change to the tax code. MRAA said the proposed policy change would “cause havoc to the boating industry, significantly increasing unemployment in boating, and making boating unavailable to many middle class Americans.”
"We lost 25 percent of our workers and hundreds of retailers when the Congress passed the luxury tax. Elimination of the second home mortgage deduction and the controversial reduction in the cap for mortgage deduction would be far worse," commented Glenn Mazzella, MRAA chairman.
Boaters are currently eligible to classify their vessel as a second residence and deduct the interest on their boat mortgage if their vessel provides basic living accommodations that include a sleeping space, a toilet, and cooking facilities, explained NMMA.
“This cut will harm the industry by making boat ownership less affordable for the middle class where the median household income for new boat owners ranges between $75K and $99K and between $50K and $74K for boaters with pre-owned boats,” the association said.
"The luxury tax wasn't a tax on rich people and big yachts but about a loss of blue collar jobs, the very backbone of the boating industry, and so is this proposal," said Phil Keeter, MRAA president.
The associations are asking their members to contact both the President and their members of Congress to urge them to oppose the Presidential Tax Advisory Panel's recommendation and any subsequent legislation that would lower the mortgage interest deduction.
The industry can reach the White House switchboard by calling (202) 456-1414 and their member of Congress by fax or email at www.nmma.org/grassroots/, where contact information for members' representatives and a form letter that can be customized to suit an individual company is available.
NMMA asks its members to let Jeffrey Gabriel (firstname.lastname@example.org) know when they respond to their elected representatives so NMMA can follow up.
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