Friday, August 31, 2012

Taxes destroy wealth: Italian Yacht edition

In Italy, a new tax on boat ownership and people leasing boats was introduced this year. Boats between 10 and 12 metres now incur an annual tax of €800, those between 20 and 24 metres one of €4,400, those over 64 metres €25,000. Predictably, it resulted in efforts by boat owners and users to evade the tax:
The summer’s blitz has brought a sharp fall in business in Italian marinas. According to Roberto Fusco, chairman of Marina di Punta Ala, 20% of the boats have not been used this year and sales of fuel have fallen by 40%.
Worse, many have moved their business offshore
Unsurprisingly, boat owners have fled to more welcoming havens. Reports talk of Italian fugitives in Corsica and Croatia. And what is true of Italians applies equally to foreigners who charter boats. Rosi Della Bruna, who runs Shaula, a yacht-services company in Rome’s marina at Ostia, says Russian visitors are not amused by Italian inquisitors. “Business is 50% down on last year, and what affects us also affects bars, restaurants, car hire, air travel and so on,” she explains. Only the year-end sums will tell if this wave of fiscal belligerence has won benefits outweighing the costs.
HT: Patti