Archives for the 'Sailing Promotion' Category
Mike Quigley vs. Mortgage Interest Deduction
I find this troubling, not only as an avid Lake Michigan sailor, but also as a real estate professional.
The same arguments in favor of home mortgage interest deduction apply to the boating industry, if not more- the boating industry represents the livelihood of many interconnected jobs in building, selling, maintaining and enjoying recreational boating.
View Illinois’s 5th Congressional District (CHI) in a larger map
The Illinois 5th Congressional District map appears to include Diversey Harbor, but not Belmont Harbor.
View Illinois’s 5th Congressional District (CHI) in a larger map
Quigley, Walz, Peters Introduce Bill to End Subsidies for Luxury Yachts
Tuesday, 03 May 2011 13:29
WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), along with Reps. Tim Walz (MN-1) and Gary Peters (MI-9), introduced legislation to eliminate taxpayer subsidies for yachts. The Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act will amend a tax provision that allows boat owners to write off their mortgage interest payments if they classify their boats as second homes.
“There’s absolutely no reason why taxpayers should subsidize luxury yachts,” said Quigley. “As we work to address our budget challenges, closing this frivolous tax loophole is a no-brainer.”
“We’re going to have to make some hard decisions to tackle our national debt, but this isn’t one of them,” said Walz. “Closing this tax loophole restores the Mortgage Interest Deduction to its original purpose; helping middle class families realize the American Dream through homeownership.”
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. The Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act would limit the tax deduction to only those who use their boats as a primary residence.
“We need to get the deficit under control, and that means simplifying the tax code and eliminating special interest tax giveaways like the Yacht Loophole,” added Peters. “Homeownership is part of the American Dream and we should encourage it, but yacht owners don’t need any special handouts, especially in the middle of a budget crisis.”
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.
The proposal is included in Quigley’s Reinventing Government: The Federal Budget Part II. The report is due out next week and will include detailed cost-saving recommendations to follow up on Part I, which focused on transparency in the budget process.
Source: Mike Quigley press release
Note the discrepancy in the fake analysis? 2000 census figures are compared to 2004 boat statistics (without source reference). Never mind that we just completed a 2010 census, or that the current year is 2011…
Here’s how the media fabricates information:
The Hill directly copies information from the press release, publishing the unsourced numerical data as if it were factual news:
But The Hill is honest enough to inquire, and report:
The IRS doesn’t differentiate between mortgage types so there is no data available to calculate an exact amount of money the legislation would save, an aide told The Hill.
Nor is there any analysis of the jobs and positive economic impact of the original mortgage interest deduction as it currently exists with regard to boat ownership.
Perhaps Quigley and his over-taxing colleagues can examine the studies prepared for justifying the funding of additional harbors for Chicago?
Unfortunately, it seems they would rather perpetuate the false narrative that taxing more is the solution to the economic problems created by government over-spending.
Goose Island brewery announced its acquisition by Anheuser-Busch this week.
A stalwart sponsor of local sailing regattas, and the favored choice of local beer drinking afficionados, Goose island was once a proud symbol of business success and skillful brew mastery, throughout the “Windy City” and the entire region.
The news was heralded by the company as a necessary step toward expanding production capacity to meet the ever-growing demand, which surpassed the output of the local brewery facilities.
In answer to beer enthusiasts’ concerns about quality, a spokesperson explained, “a highly scientific analysis of the local beer will allow Anheuser-Busch to manufacture mass quantities of Goose Island beer, much like it currently produces Budweiser today. By carefully studying the flavors of local Goose Island beer, and learning how to duplicate it exactly in large-scale factory production facilities, Goose Island beer made by Anheuser-Busch will actually taste more identical and authentic than beer made by Goose Island ourselves!”
Other concerns, however, were left unanswered. Why couldn’t Goose Island expand its business and its facilities locally? The loss of another successful business in Illinois to acquisition by an offshore foreign interest reflects the unintended consequences of government which over-taxes, over-spends, over-regulates, and over-burdens individuals and businesses of all sizes.
The problem at the national level is demonstrated by the previous loss of Budweiser to an overseas company.
Similarly, the local obstacles to Goose Island’s accelerated growth are largely due to a system of corrupt government and its intrusion into private business enterprise in Chicago, Cook and Illinois over the last 80 years or more.
However, on an upbeat note, Goose Island announced that it will respond to the business changes with a new direction in marketing.
The 312 beer, named after the Chicago telephone area code, was created to identify Goose Island as a Chicago landmark, and differentiated itself by appealing to an initial audience of trendy city dwellers, who were early to discover and enjoy Goose Island beer, even if only by chance, being more conveniently available in the local environs of the city.
“Goose Island beer is no longer a Chicago beer,” remarked the spokesperson. “In fact, we are no longer an American beer. So it no longer makes sense to name our product based on silly rivalries between faux urban hipsters and suburban poser wannabe’s.”
“Chicago itself is a provincial backwater of political crime and corruption, which we no longer can afford to be closely associated with. Look at Illinois- it’s considered a joke by the rest of our own country. Clearly, that is not in our best interest to promote.”
“We must disavow our past local connections. We are now part of the global economy, forced out of both our hometown and our home country by bad policies which thwart true business growth and economic freedom.”
“We have chosen a new product identity, which preserves the original concept. Our new product identity also strengthens and acknowledges our ownership by an offshore foreign company.”
“Today we can announce that 312 Beer will be renamed after the international telephone dialing prefix, and be known as ‘011’.”
When asked if Goose Island had plans to craft a special forty ounce malt to be distributed by the Jesse Jackson family relatives’ Budweiser distributorship in Chicago, the spokesperson said, “no comment.”
Has anyone approached Northern Trust to sponsor any Chicago sailing events?
TMZ reports on lavish parties, gifts and entertainment by Northern Trust, after receiving $1.6 billion US government bailout funds and laying off 450 employees.
Sounds like an ideal sponsor!
In all seriousness, we disagree with the tone of the TMZ article.
Note that in a capitalist society with economic freedom, private enterprise shall be rewarded for its success. Rather than condemn Northern Trust for its business decisions, responsible news media should be well-advised to identify Northern Trust as a leader in its industry, avoiding the many banking pitfalls that beleaguer our economy today.
It is a failure of the government to disburse $1.6 billion in US taxpayer funds to a banking institution which does not require it.
We support all efforts by individuals and private enterprise to generate their own financial success and wealth, and remain highly skeptical of government interference with market economics.
Kudos to TMZ for questioning the role of Congress and our federal government in failing their responsibilities to taxpayers.
Update- some additional thoughts:
1. Sailboat racing requires a certain level of economic prosperity. Thus, it benefits racing to support policies which promote prosperity, rather than denigrate capitalism and successful private enterprise.
2. Interestingly, the Northern Trust statement responding to the TMZ article highlights the charitable contributions made to the community.
Apart from exercising social responsibility, it brings to mind the notion that event promotion supporting charitable efforts often yields greater rewards, both tangible and intangible, than sponsorship based on purely commercial interests.
Locally in Chicago, it would serve well to find an affluent sponsor to promote sailing to replace the loss of ABN AMRO’s highly visible participation in major local events.
The growing continued success of Windy City Match Race and the Leukemia Cup regatta demonstrate the value of charitable efforts combined with sailboat racing events.
This weekend marks another tradition as the Chicago sailing season approaches. Crowley’s Yacht-A-Palooza arrives this Saturday, March 29, 2008.
“This year we have decided to Lu’au for Yacht-a-palooza. The event, as usual, will feature big discounts on selected store items, the Nautical Donations Flea Market tent, guest speakers, workshops, featured vendors, food, a pig roast, entertainment and prizes…and admission is FREE!”
Strictly Sail Chicago has become an annual mid-winter tradition for local Chicago and midwestern sailors.
If you have attended before, you know what to expect. If you have not attended before, you should plan to go.
Here are a few brief items to look for at the show.
The University of Illinois Sailing Club will be selling t-shirts to raise funds for sailing activities and competition in Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association (MCSA) regattas.
Hedlund Marine will exhibit four new LaserPerformance (formerly known as Vanguard) sailboat models, plus new Hobie and Gill sailboats. “This show will be the first time most of Chicago has seen an SB3”, according to John Porter, “and it is also the North American debut of the Bug, a new boat for juniors.”
Harken introduces the innovative new RigTune Pro digital tension gauge and new Black Magic MKIV Loop Block, AirBlock, Flip-Flop block and other designs.
A discount Navy Pier parking coupon is available here.
The Chicago Boat, RV and Outdoors Show ended today.
Typically, there is little or no sailing presence at the show, despite the boating and recreation focus. One would expect attendees of a large, well-publicized and heavily-sponsored boat show would have interest in learning more about sailing. Conversely, one would expect the local sailing community to better use this event as an opportunity to promote local sailing activities. Unfortunately, that seems not to be the case.
Strictly Sail Chicago follows only one week later, as an entirely separate event. Although it is a welcome gathering for midwest sailors in the middle of winter, marketing sailboats and sailing to the more highly-focused audience lacks the exposure provided by the larger, better-advertised and better-supported Chicago Boat Show. It seems less than ideal that the Chicago Boat Show is under-used for promoting sailing.
Apparently, the show organizers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), have finally arrived at the same conclusion. Shows in Virginia and Baltimore this year introduced Sailfest to test the waters of introducing more sailing at the boat shows.