A new proposal being debated by lawmakers on Capitol Hill could help revive the marine manufacturing industry following years of declining sales.
The United States Superyacht Association (USSA) said that the plan would eliminate mortgage interest deductions for boats, which now qualify as second homes, The Washington Post reports. The trade organization said that after President George H. W. Bush in the early 1990s slapped a 10 percent luxury tax on boats selling for more than $100,000, the industry lost thousands of jobs.
"It's been very difficult for them to stay in business with this tax in place," Bill West, executive director of the Northwest Marine Trade Association, told the Seattle Times.
According to the Department of Employment Security, Washington state alone has lost more than 1,800 boat-building and repair jobs over the past four years.
Meanwhile, it appears as if boat owner ship is starting to rebound in Rhode Island. The Providence Journal reports that the Ocean State's boating industry has started to stabilize with builders such as C and C Fiberglass Components, Hinckley Yachts and Hunts Yachts all reporting that business is thriving.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that the recreational boating industry in Rhode Island is now estimated to be worth $500 million per year.