Proposed tax on boaters rejected by the Boating Industry Association

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The BIA was surprised by Labor’s announcement to tax boat owners.

The NSW Labor Party’s proposed policy to tax new and second hand recreational boats will bring further hardship on an industry that is still recovering from the GFC and punish hardworking boaters and retirees, says the Boating Industry Association (BIA).

“The BIA was surprised by Labor’s announcement to tax boat owners. The tax will drive sales and jobs way from NSW to other states and, sadly, the perception that boats over the value of $200,000 are a tax on the wealthy is fundamentally wrong. Many vessels of that value are owned by families, retirees, groups of hard-working, hard-saving mates who have grouped their savings to pursue their passion for being outdoors, or those who have joined in a share boat arrangement through a club. The proposed tax will hurt working families who enjoy boating and the many small businesses and their employees who service them” said Alan Blake, President of the BIA.

Blake also said, “The knock-on effect of this proposal has not been taken into consideration by the Labor Party. The businesses that service, store or supply provisions for these vessels are small family businesses who will feel a direct impact of such a tax”.

The BIA says the number of vessels sold each year within NSW are not as many as the Labor Government believes and the perceived taxation revenue has been significantly overstated. Boats are a discretional purchase and this tax will only push consumers to simply purchase in other states or choose other forms of recreation (like caravanning) that are not penalised by the proposed tax.

There are plenty of international examples, including taxes introduced by President Clinton in the USA in the early 1990s, where taxes on boats, like that proposed by Labor, were implemented then quickly abandoned as they didn’t raise the predicted tax revenue and devastated the local industry. The BIA implores the Labor Party to not repeat these mistakes and send jobs and business to other states.

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