Michigan association opposes eliminating yacht subsidy

LIVONIA, Mich. – The Michigan Boating Industries Association has released a statement opposing the recently introduced Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act by Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) and Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.). The bill would amend a tax provision allowing boat owners to write-off their mortgage interest payments if their boats meet the IRS classification as a second home.

“The boating industry cannot afford a repeal of this provision,” John Ropp, MBIA president, said in the statement. “This repeal would greatly damage our industry and result in job loss, the boating industry represents nearly 52,000 jobs in the state and they are important to the Michigan economy.”

According to the group, the the act’s use of the term “yachts” is not appropriate, since they say “many mid-size boats, owned by middle-class citizens also meet the IRS qualifications for this credit.”

“This Act will affect more boaters than realized and impact the economy deeper than considered,” Ropp said.

The group also criticized the act for removing boats from the provision and not second homes.

“People who choose a boat as a second home should not be treated differently than those who chose a cottage – changing the tax laws for boaters would be unfair,” the group said.

Currently, taxpayers are allowed to deduct mortgage interest for up to two homes from their tax returns. Yachts equipped with bedding, toilet facilities, and a kitchen also qualify. The Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act would limit the tax deduction to only those who use their boats as a primary residence, according to lawmakers.

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