Proposed Illinois Tax Bill Adverse to Boaters Stalled

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) press release:

Proposed Illinois Luxury Tax on Boats Withdrawn From Consideration
Boating organizations, including NMMA, were prepared to testify

Chicago, IL

February 26, 2009 – Today, the Illinois State Legislature’s Revenue and Finance Committee decided not to move forward with HB 451, a bill to impose a five percent luxury tax on vessels sold in Illinois over a purchase price of $200,000. Mark Adams, vice president of sportshows for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), along with opponents from six different marine-related organizations and businesses, attended the hearing to testify in opposition to the tax. However, before testimonies could be heard, the committee echoed industry concerns about the tax and withheld a motion to take up the legislation.

The proposed tax would have had a devastating effect on Illinois’ marine businesses, causing buyers to hold off on buying boats or cross state lines to make purchases. In the early 1990s, a similar national luxury tax on boats was enacted, only to be repealed two years later because the tax cost more to collect than the revenue it earned. The tax also led to 19,000 lay offs, cut boat sales by 40 percent, pushed tax revenue from boat sales to below pre-luxury tax levels and forced several brands of boats into bankruptcy.

“While we understand Illinois must address its looming budget deficit, we are pleased the committee realizes a counter-productive tax like this one is not the answer,” said David Dickerson, National Marine Manufacturers Association director of state government relations. “Despite assurances from the bill sponsor that similar measures will not be pursued, we will continue to monitor any new legislation moving forward,” Dickerson said.

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters in the United States. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications.

15 March 2009 | Law, Politics and Government | Comments

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