NMMA, CMTA oppose Connecticut luxury tax

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Extending Connecticut's auto lemon law to include boats gained little support in a hearing before the legislature's joint transportation committee, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported, as the organization also spoke out against a 3 percent luxury tax on boats.

Committee chairman Andrew Maynard said the very few complaints the state received from boat owners showed that the marine industry effectively resolved complaints without the need for government oversight.

Also in Connecticut, several boat dealers and the NMMA testified against a proposed 3 percent luxury tax. It would be added to the state's general sales tax of 6.25 percent on the amount of a boat's purchase price above $100,000.

NMMA testimony focused on the failure of a national luxury tax in 1991-93 to raise the revenue that was projected. Other witnesses said damage would be done to the economy's fragile recovery, even as gasoline prices are increasing.

"Connecticut would be the worst place for consumers to purchase a boat,'" said Anthony Bento, of Norwest Marine. "A short drive to New York or Rhode Island would save the consumer thousands of dollars. ... Boat sales will plummet. ... Boaters will flock to Rhode Island."

The NMMA and the Connecticut Marine Trades Association are coordinating their opposition to the proposal.

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