Taxes are for the little people…

John Kerry’s Yacht: A Symbol Of Hypocrisy?

Shannon Bell
Right Pundits

Senator John Kerry’s yacht “Isabel” is moored in Rhode Island. This wouldn’t be a big deal except for the fact that John Kerry is a Senator from Massachusetts. I know what you you’re thinking, it’s a free country so Kerry should be able to stash his yacht anywhere he chooses. True, but this story isn’t about the freedom to do as you please, it’s about those who impose rules and regulations on the rest of us, skirting those same rules and regulations.

In 1993 Rhode Island abolished its Boat Sales and Use Tax making it a target for anyone wishing to escape high taxation for the purchase and use of a luxury yacht like Senator Kerry’s. Yacht owners in Massachusetts like Mr. Kerry are charged sales tax and an annual excise tax. According to a story in the Boston Herald, “Isabel” sold for $7 million dollars so Mr. Kerry escaped nearly $450,000 dollars in sales tax and a yearly $70,000 excise tax bill.

Massachusetts, like most other states in the Union, is hurting for money. John Kerry’s yacht could conceivably bring in some much needed income to the Commonwealth. But being the man of Massachusetts that he is, John Kerry will leave “Isabel” safely in Rhode Island where she will not be subject to the high tax policies in Kerry’s Massachusetts.

Never mind the sheer hypocrisy of using such a blatant loophole to escape the very thing that you personally have voted for time and time again. John Kerry never met a tax increase he didn’t like. He’s also never met a luxury yacht he didn’t like.

Kerry’s Chief of Staff says that the boat is being kept in Rhode Island for long term maintenance, upkeep and for charter purposes. He says it has nothing to do with taxes. I suppose Senator Kerry’s yacht couldn’t get the proper maintenance, upkeep or be used for charter in Massachusetts. You know, since it’s so far away from the ocean and all.

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At Instapundit:

July 23, 2010

TAXES ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE (CONT’D): Sen. John Kerry Docks Luxury Yacht In Rhode Island To Avoid High Massachusetts Taxes. A reader calls it “not-so-swift” boating. Yeah, you have to be grateful for John Kerry, who illustrates the problems with his class so well, and who isn’t bright enough to hide it.

UPDATE: Check out the Boston Herald front page, which is giving it the full Thurston Howell treatment.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds


But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.

Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its 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?

H/T JammieWearingFool

Update: At, Doug Powers writes, “John Kerry Was For Taxes Before He Was Against Them: Thurston & Lovey Avoid $500k in Mass. Luxury Taxes”

Update 2: Political Shipwreck at the Boston Herald. Boat builders: John Kerry could have created jobs in U.S.

New England boat builders say shame on Sen. John Kerry for buying a $7 million New Zealand-built luxury yacht while local ship makers struggle to find work.

“Darn, that would have been a wonderful job for a Maine builder,” said Jane Wellehan, president of the trade group Maine Built Boats. “If someone comes to build a $7 million boat that would employ half the population of some towns for a year or two. Boat building is such a critical component of our coastal economy.”

Gregory Egan, who owns the Crosby Yacht Yard in Osterville [MA], said Bay State boat builders must feel cut adrift by Kerry as well…

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