NMMA issues call to action on pending legislation

CHICAGO —National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich recently sent an alert asking the industry to take action on pending federal legislation.

The legislation of concern is HR 1720, also called the “Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act,” which would remove the deductibility of interest on boats that are used as second homes.

The NMMA opposes this bill, saying, “This bill … is both misnamed and wrong-headed and would accomplish nothing except putting American boat builders and other boating service providers out of work, precisely at a time when the industry has not recovered from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.“

The NMMA predicts that, if the legislation passes “its unintended consequence would be that sales of boats and boating services would diminish, thousands of American jobs would be placed at risk, and many middle class American families would be forced out of boating and deprived of their summer home on the water.”

“If land-sited dwellings and RVs can qualify for an interest deduction as a second home – and they can – why should a live-aboard boat be excluded simply because it floats on the water instead of being placed on land or driven down the highway?” Dammrich said.

“It is almost a certainty that the individuals that this legislation purportedly targets — the owners of what we might term “mega-yachts” — do not use this deduction,” he continued. “Those who are rich enough to afford the million-dollar boats the legislation’s authors probably meant to target undoubtedly already have second homes on which they take the mortgage deduction. Instead, this bill would target the middle income family that decides to have their second home float on the water, instead of purchasing a stationary home or a rolling home.”

NMMA asks members of the industry to contact Congress to oppose the bill.

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