WASHINGTON – Southern Minnesota doesn’t have any ocean shoreline or a constituency of high-end yacht owners, and maybe that’s why DFL Rep. Tim Walz has introduced the Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act.
The bill would prohibit boat owners from taking the mortgage interest deduction on their vessel by claiming it as a second home.
Walz introduced the bill jointly with Reps. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Gary Peters (D-MI).
Boats equipped with bedding, toilets and a kitchen are considered to be equivalent to houses under the tax code.
In a press release, Walz’s office noted that more than 500,000 boats were large enough to qualify for the tax credit in 2004 even though just 100,000 Americans live on boats full time.
“If you’re buying a $3 million yacht, you’re probably not looking just for the [mortgage] interest deduction,” said Walz during a brief interview with Minnesota Public Radio News.
He conceded that the bill’s purpose was mostly symbolic, saying, “It’s a bill to show that this tax code and some of our problems, aren’t just the middle class’s issues.”