Friday, July 23, 2010

Swift Boating, or I Know a Boat You Can Get On

As Elvis Costello sang it, I used to be disgusted. Now I try to be amused:

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.
No point in getting mad about it, people. He's got options, you see. And let's be honest -- it's smart money management, as the article points out:

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.
Or in this case, Massachusetts doesn't collect a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts.

So is there a lesson in this for Minnesotans? Only if you choose to accept three things which are obvious:

1) People respond to incentives.
2) People also respond to disincentives.
3) Dan Hindbjorgen and the Sioux Falls Development Council are definitely supporting Mark Dayton in the Minnesota gubernatorial election because of 1) and 2). I don't know if Sioux Falls has a marina, but I'd bet that Dan Hindbjorgen could get one set up.

5 comments:

Night Writer said...

"I like to be in Rhode Island!
O.K. by me in Rhode Island!
More that's tax-free in Rhode Island!
Hypocrites flee to Rhode Island!"

Kerry's probably isn't the "last boat leaving" Massachusetts, but what would Mark Dayton say?

Gino said...

did you know that John kerry fought in Vietnam?

Swiftee said...

I can just see ALGORE slipping past Point Judith in his commando Zodiac to join the annual Gore Christmas eve party aboard his yacht...my cartoon bubble has him with a knife clenched in his teeth.

Night Writer said...

Swiftee - don't forget the bath towel around his waist. Oops, never mind!

Mr. D said...

Ooh. Exceptionally bad visual, NW.