Georgia may pull tax cap on yacht refits

Jun 17, 2020 by Triton Staff

An article on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper’s website yesterday reports that Georgia state legislators are considering cancelling the sales tax cap it put on yacht refits as a way of returning some money to state coffers.

Georgia senators are reviewing about 40 special-interest tax breaks lawmakers have passed over the years, the newspaper reported.

In 2017, Georgia state legislators passed a bill to cap state sales tax on parts and equipment during a refit worth $500,000. Georgia sales tax rate ranges from 7 to 8 percent, depending upon the county. The move was seen to benefit shipyards there, including Thunderbolt Marine and the then-burgeoning Savannah Yacht Center.

Florida legislators passed their own yachting tax cap in 2015, but the cap didn’t kick in until repairs or refits reached $1 million. Yards in Florida were concerned at the time that Georgia’s lower cap might lure some of Florida’s refit business north. 

The proposal may be discussed in committee as early as tomorrow. The AJC report notes that, although Georgia’s legislature doesn’t reconvene until next spring, “lawmakers can vote to eliminate tax breaks at any time.”