If tax reform is going to be part of some grand budget compromise in Congress, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz wants to start with taxpayer subsidies for yachts.
The Minnesota Democrat, along with House members from Illinois and Michigan, rolled out the Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act on Wednesday. The bill would end a provision that allows boat owners to write off their mortgage interest payments if they classify their boats as second homes.
“We’re going to have to make some hard decisions to tackle our national debt,” Walz said, “but this isn’t one of them.”
Currently, taxpayers are allowed to deduct mortgage interest for up to two homes from their tax returns. Yachts equipped with bedding, toilet facilities, and a kitchen qualify, even if they aren’t used as a primary residence.
In 2004, there were approximately 500,000 pleasure boats in the United States large enough to qualify for the tax break, but only around 100,000 people live full time on boats according to the 2000 Census.
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