Rhode Island, “Haven….for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners” Like John Kerry
As first reported by the Boston Herald:
Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.
Isabel – Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage – was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.
But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.
Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven – like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau – for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?
Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.
The senior senator’s chief of staff David Wade denied the old salt was berthing his boat out of state to avoid ponying up to the commonwealth.
“The boat was designed by and purchased from a company in Rhode Island, and it’s based in Newport at the Newport Shipyard for long-term maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes, not tax reasons,” Wade told the Track.
Sure. Hey, I don’t have a problem with RI being a tax haven for something, but this just shows the “good enough for me, but not for thee” mentality of our self-dubbed betters.