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Quigley, Aguilar, Ruiz Introduce Bill to End Loopholes for Yachts

Apr 15, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), Pete Aguilar (CA-31) and Raul Ruiz (CA-36) introduced legislation to eliminate tax loopholes for luxury yacht owners. The Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act, or “Yachts Act,” will amend a tax provision that allows yacht owners to write off their mortgage interest payments if they classify their yachts as second homes.

“If you can afford a luxury yacht, you can afford to pay the taxes to go along with it, not pass the bill off to middle-class families. Our economy is still on the road to recovery, but the only way to get there is through a fair tax code and smart investments,” said Rep. Quigley. “It’s time for Congress to eliminate frivolous tax loopholes and fix our tax code.” 

“This is a commonsense bill that closes a tax loophole so that middle-class families no longer subsidize yachts for the ultra-wealthy,” said Rep. Aguilar. “We can't continue to give tax breaks for multimillionaires while cutting education and services for seniors and veterans. This bill will help us level the playing field and make the tax code more fair for the middle class.” 

“Hard working middle class Americans across the country should not have to subsidize luxury yachts,” said Dr. Ruiz. “This pragmatic, fiscally responsible bill closes a loophole eliminating taxpayer subsidies for yachts, ensuring the Mortgage Interest Deduction is utilized for the intended purpose of helping middle class families right here in our desert achieve the dream of home ownership.”

The bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the loophole for yachts would save more than $150 million over the next ten years. 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 bill would limit the tax deduction to only those who use their boats as a primary residence.

Last Congress, Rep. Quigley called on Congress to reform America’s tax code and introduced the bipartisan Budget Process Improvement Act. He is also the author of Reinventing Government: The Federal Budget, which offers 15 recommendations to establish greater budgetary accountability, as well as 60 recommendations to save $2 trillion over the next 10 years.