Yacht Tax

THURSDAY 3-6-08…We hear a lot about a tax loophole known as the “Yacht Tax.” Democrats want to close that loophole. Republicans don’t. It’s estimated that closing the loophole would gain the state of California about 21 million bucks. Pretty much “chump change” for a state with a budget of 102 billion .

The yacht tax should really be called the “boat, airplane, and RV tax.” The way the law is currently written, if you buy a boat, airplane or RV outside of the state of California, and if you leave it outside the state for ninety days, then you don’t have to pay California sales tax on it. When the ninety days are up….you bring it on home, and you’ve escaped the tax.

I had personal experience with this when I made a trip to Oregon to purchase a beautiful RV. All I had to do was buy it in Oregon, leave it there for three months, and escape the tax. Oh yes….I had to find a place to leave it, and was given a list of a few RV parks in the area. I’d have to pay space rental for three months, and an assortment of other “fees” plus establish residence in that state.

I “toyed” with the idea and finally came to the conclusion that if I bought the beautiful rig in Oregon, I wouldn’t want to leave it there –unattended for three months. So, I came back to California and purchased it here. I paid the tax.

So, while it is perfectly legal to avoid the tax, I think the Republicans in our state legislature are missing a great opportunity here. Paying the tax Is not a tax increase….and the Republicans could use the issue as a lever to get Democrats to cut “special interest” spending. In other words, if Republicans compromise on the issue, and close the loophole, it would put Democrats on the defensive in areas where they have objected to spending cuts.

With Dan Gamel RV closing up shop here in Chico, Santa Rosa, Bakersfield and perhaps Yuma Arizona, people aren’t buying RV’s….and I venture to say, airplanes OR yachts. Now would be the perfect time for Republicans to close the loophole and show their willingness to help fix the state’s budget. That act, by Republicans, could be a great “hole card.”

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One Response

  1. Sorry to hear about Dan Gamel closing shop. Gamel’s advertisements were one of the very few on KPAY that didn’t send me into a scramble to shut off the radio (which is the usual case). I enjoyed them. They actually encouraged the listener to sing along!

    Which brings me to another subject entirely, the usual obnoxious and exceedingly annoying quality of production radio ads. (Including — to add injury to assault — those awful, child-parent government funded PSA’s which WE pay for.)

    I am not naive, I fully understand that the idea is to get the listener’s attention, but it is my contention that most ads (on radio and on TV) actually backfire. I suppose “market research” in aggregate proves me wrong, but here is my two cents worth anyway —

    They backfire because the production values make them intolerable. They are intolerable because they are designed to annoy and are then repeated ad nauseum.

    I simply shut off the radio and often forget to turn it back on. (In fact, I just did this a little while ago after some begging-for-a-beating-machine-gun-talking jackass slapped my ears by trying to squeeze a 60 second spot into 30.)

    Do advertisers really expect to reach potential customers by driving them away from the medium? There are more than a few folks I would never do business with simply because their ads.

    OK, my pet-peeve gripe session is over.

    Yep, close that loophole and then, if Republicans can ever manage control the legislature in this bloated, government empoyee union run, Euro-pathetic-broken-wreck of a half-baked nanny-state, get rid of the tax entirely and encourage the boat, plane, and RV industry to do business here instead of driving them away.

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