By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa, The Boston Herald
Sen.Â John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.
Isabel – Kerryâ€™s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage – was designed by Rhode Island boat designerÂ Ted Fontaine.
But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus,Â Teresa Heinz, Isabelâ€™s hailing port is listed as â€œNewportâ€ on her stern.
Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed itsÂ Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven – like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau – for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?
Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.
The senior senatorâ€™s chief of staffÂ David Wade denied the old salt was berthing his boat out of state to avoid ponying up to the commonwealth.
â€œThe boat was designed by and purchased from a company in Rhode Island, and itâ€™s based in Newport at theÂ Newport Shipyard for long-term maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes, not tax reasons,â€ Wade toldÂ the Track.
And stateÂ Department of Revenue spokesguyÂ Bob Bliss confirmed the senator â€œis under no obligation to pay the commonwealth sales tax.â€
But back in 2006, then-gubernatorial candidateÂ Christy Mihos took some flack for avoiding some $23,000 in Bay State sales tax and $1,320 in local excise taxes by berthing his motor yacht in Rhode Island. But Mihos paid just $475,000 for his 36-foot vesselÂ Ashley and readily admitted that he used the boat at his West Yarmouth summer home.
To read more, visit: http://bostonherald.com/track/inside_track/view.bg?articleid=1269698
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