Motorboat sales tax break proposed in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. – State Representative John Townsend (R-Fond du Lac) will introduce a bill to exempt the first $30,000 of the purchase of a motorboat, outboard motor, and/or trailer from the state sales tax, his office reported in a statement today.

“The first practical outboard motor was invented in Wisconsin,” Townsend said. “Wisconsin is still the only state where outboard motors are produced. There’s Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, of course, and there is also the Evinrude plant in Sturtevant, by Racine. This bill would eliminate a significant barrier to motorboat ownership for the next year.”

Townsend was surprised to learn that 75 percent of U.S. recreational boat owners have household incomes of $100,000 or less.

“It’s a middle-class phenomenon, not some extravagant luxury,” he commented. “According to industry figures, the average combined price of a motor, boat, and trailer in 2008 was just under $30,000. My bill would stimulate an important sector of Wisconsin’s economy, while also allowing ordinary citizens to continue to enjoy this state’s lakes and rivers as they’ve always done.”

The deadline for Wisconsin legislators to sign on as cosponsors of the bill is Wed., July 8, and it will be introduced shortly afterward, his office reported.

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