The U.S. Senate voted 96-3 to
open debate on a bill that will renew several tax breaks known as the Bush Tax
Cuts, first passed in 2008 to help stimulate the economy. Several issues important
to marine retailers are included in the tax-extender package, including a
return to the $5 million exemption for the estate tax and a federal sales tax
deduction for people who purchase boats that live in a state without income
The bill may hit a snag during the
Senate floor debate because the expired tax breaks will add an estimated $85
billion to the federal budget deficit. Some Republican lawmakers have indicated
that they would like to change the package to lessen the deficit impact; in the
pay-as-you-go world of federal legislation, where tax cuts must be met with
equal tax increases, the breaks offer no way to pay for themselves.
Based on merit, it’s expected
that the bill has the more than 60 votes needed to pass.
MRAA will continue diligently
working on this issue. Estate tax reform and maintaining the sales tax break
are key issues for marine retailers.