Our mantra for the conference and the subsequent hill visits made by the board were focused on our latest legislative initiative to change the current Cruising License requirements that prohibit foreign flagged boats from offering their boats for sale to U.S. residents while in US waters. Our position is that we would like to change the timing of when the duty is paid from upon entry into US waters to when the vessel actually closes, allowing for residents to board and purchase the vessels here in the US. We had overwhelming support from the conference attendees, and our lawmakers agreed this archaic law should change.
FYBA anticipates that by changing this 107-year old law, we will effectively open our shores to $20B in additional yacht inventory. This added accessibility to foreign flagged vessels has the potential to net to our industry $260M in incremental revenue. The last time we accomplished something this big was during the 2010 Sales Tax Cap enacted in Tallahassee. At that time it was anticipated the state of Florida would lose $1.4m in tax revenue due to the Tax Cap, when in actuality it INCREASED revenue to the state by nearly 10 times over previous estimates to $13.5 million.
Suffice to say we are hopeful & optimistic our under-estimation trend continues.
Changing the Cruising License legislation is no small feat. Basically, we are trying to change an Act of Congress. The current proposal is being sponsored by Lois Frankel (D-FL 22nd District) in the House of Representatives, and also has the support of Senators Bill Nelson & Marco Rubio. FYBA hosted a 30-minute breakout session during the conference where we addressed ABC delegates from across the U.S. about our proposed plan. We will have the full download for you in the next issue of Compass, due out at the beginning of June.
Until then, let me hear your thoughts... firstname.lastname@example.org