Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tax cut package that'll save the average Floridian $20 per year could save rich boat owners thousands

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 4:01 PM

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Here's the good news: After days of negotiation and debate, the Florida Legislature voted Monday to grant Gov. Rick Scott more than $400 million in tax cuts. Floridians will see the package's benefits when they pay their TV and cellphone bills, as well as go back-to school-shopping.      

The deal decreased Florida's communications service tax, which will save residents paying $100 a month in phone and TV bills about $20 a year, according to Reuters

With the new legislation, the annual sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers, which is usually three days, was increased to 10 days.    

Here's the hidden-in-the-details news: The package also included a crazy tax cut for people rich enough to spend more than $1 million in boat repairs. That's right — those of us who struggle to pay our phone and cable bills will save about $20 per year. Those who struggle when repairs on their yachts cost more than $1 million a pop will get a tax cap of $60,000 so they don't have to keep that Christensen out of the water for the season. Supporters of the tax break said the savings could lead to more jobs at Florida marinas. Critics point out that there are no tax cuts for the average boat owner. Just for rich people who own big, honking, expensive boats.

“There are many people in my district who own boats, but none of them own boats where they would have repairs over a million dollars,” Sen. Geraldine Thompson pointed out in the debate over the bill on Monday.  “In fact, the boat itself would not be worth a million dollars. … And so a part of this tax package limits repairs on boats — really yachts — to $60,000, but it you are a small person and you have a small boat, you’re going to have to pay these taxes. But if you have a yacht and the repairs on your yacht are over a million dollars, then it’s capped at $60,000.”


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