Monday, May 2, 2011

Texas is open for business. On the high seas.

While most of us were waiting for the weekend, our lawmakers in Austin were cutting more taxes in hopes of keeping business in Texas.

Next time you purchase a yacht, don't go to Florida, stay right here in the Lone Star state.  Texas lawmakers have matched the sunshine state's limit on taxing a new yacht for only the first $250k of its value.  House ways and means chair  Harvey Hilderbran, R-Kerrville, was quoted as saying "The hearing was pretty convincing that we're losing business to Florida. It's one of those things you have to do," he said.

Its not official yet, as it has to pass both houses, but at least our friends in Austin are trying to keep business in Texas, right?

As you might guess, the idea on another tax break for the wealthy, this time for such a luxury item as a yacht, has rubbed some Texans the wrong way. The Houston Chronicle had some exemplary quotes:

"This is an absurd step in the wrong direction. Instead of digging Texas' budgetary hole even deeper, legislators should be looking for new revenue to pay for the public schools and other critical services. The cuts being contemplated for the public schools threaten educational quality in Texas to the point that, within a few years, fewer and fewer people will qualify for jobs that pay enough for anyone to even think about purchasing a yacht," said Texas State Teachers Association spokesman Clay Robison.

F. Scott McCown, of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which advocates for low- and moderate-income Texans, said, "This isn't the time for tax breaks for rich folks with big yachts. A strong economy is built by investing in the education to prepare our children to be tomorrows inventors and entrepreneurs. Our goal should be for our children to get an education so that they can own yachts, not for our children to sacrifice their education to attract rich folks with yachts."

It is indeed a tough time to get sell struggling Texans on a tax cut for something like yachts, I'd love to see some of the hoped for sales numbers that the cuts should allegedly create.

If you do, however, hope to purchase a yacht, I know some great yacht salesmen. Email me for information.

Like it, love it, hate it? Post to comments and let me know what you think.


  1. Very insightful, I hope people realize keeping business in Texas is better in the long run.

  2. Hi. I'm a recently divorced and recently dis-barred, and, as a consequence, recently retired family law practitioner for over 25 years in the State of Texas and Oklahoma. My question concerns the characteristics required by the State of Texas for a boat to be classified as a "yacht." My girlfriend and I are looking at purchasing a cigarette boat for Texoma this summer. We're looking to buy as soon as tomorrow so we can have it for Memorial Day Weekend. I guess my question is, can a cigarette boat be treated under the new statutes governing the purchase of aforementioned "yachts" in the State of Texas?

  3. Pie-Oh-My!:
    If you read the text of the proposed bill, it seems the definition of yacht really is just a boat, under 65 feet, not used in commercial shipping. So yes, your cigarette boat would apply. However, also notice the bill does not become effective until Sept 2011 if it passes at all, so you might not be able to take advantage of this until the fall, which thwarts your summer plans for this year.

    A full text of the proposed bill can be seen here:

    Best of luck, watch out for those zebra mussels.