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Taiwan Yacht builders appeal to put an end to luxury tax

A delegation of yacht builders meets with national legislators

A delegation of yacht builders has requested to President Ma Ying-jeou to stop listing yachts as luxury items. The Taipei Times reports that the delegation, headed by Taiwan Yacht Industry Association president John Lu, yesterday visited the Legislative Yuan.

“Yachts should be considered a consumer product rather than a property or a luxury product that can be used for speculative profit. Most importantly, the industry creates jobs and could be an integral part of Taiwan’s development of the recreational marine industry,” Lu said in a written statement.

Furthermore, the delegation met with leaders of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng.

Lu stated that the government’s policy of backing the recreational marine industry was being countered by a 10 percent luxury tax on boats over NT$3m (US$100,000).

Legislators were told that the tax has not only damaged boat manufacturing in Taiwan, but has also lowered overall employment numbers.

Lu said the government has only collected NT$5m in luxury taxes from yacht buyers. “However, every order for a new yacht could create 100 jobs,” he added.

Taxation Agency Deputy Director-General Hsu Tzu-mei told the paper that the Ministry of Finance is reviewing the luxury tax. But Hsu said that the tax does not hurt local business prospects because a majority of Taiwan-made yachts are sold to foreign customers.

According to TYIA, Taiwan is the sixth-largest yacht manufacturer in the world, with annual revenues of US$250m.

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