VIDEO: Repeal effort mounts on N.Y. yacht tax cap

A tax break for boat owners in New York is making waves for millions of other state residents.
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A tax break for boat owners in New York is making waves for millions of other state residents, many of whom are upset about a provision that was included in the state budget.

The measure puts a tax cap on any boat purchase greater than $230,000. A new push to repeal it is being led by state Sen. Rich Funke, who initially voted for the measure.

"I just don't think it's fair," Funke told WHAM 13 News. "I did go to Albany to do the right thing and it seems to me that repealing this provision is simply the right thing to do. So I'm hoping that this bill will resonate with my colleagues in the state legislature."

Supporters of the yacht tax break say it will expand the boat business and save jobs in New York.

Starting June 1, buyers of recreational boats in New York will pay tax on only the first $230,000 of the purchase price — or in most counties, 8.25 percent or $18,975.

The measure has drawn political fire as a giveaway to the rich, but Chris Squeri, executive director of the New York Marine Trades Association, said the measure simply aims to "level the playing field" with Florida and other areas "so New York can get some tax instead of nothing at all."

In 2010, when the Great Recession sent marine sales plunging, Florida limited sales tax to the first $300,000 of a boat's purchase price — or $18,000 in tax, according to a report by the Sun Sentinel.

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