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WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS CALL FOR 10 PERCENT BOAT EXCISE TAX REPEAL; NMMA CITES MASSIVE JOB LOSS; IMMEDIATE REPEAL URGENT

WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS CALL FOR 10 PERCENT BOAT EXCISE TAX REPEAL;
 NMMA CITES MASSIVE JOB LOSS; IMMEDIATE REPEAL URGENT
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) applauded the cooperative efforts of President Bush and Congress to repeal the 10 percent luxury tax imposed on boats costing at least $100,000 as part of last year's budget agreement.
 "We are pleased that Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) has joined the year-long effort of Sens. John Breaux (D-La.) and John Chafee (R-R.I.) (Senate sponsors of repeal legislation) to repeal the tax, and that President Bush recognizes the need for expedient repeal," said David Broome, NMMA's vice president of government relations. "The 1992 boat selling season is upon us and the window of opportunity to save this portion of the industry is shrinking with each passing week. In order to provide the industry with a fighting chance to survive the season, we need repeal in the next four to six weeks."
 According to Broome, the tax has not affected the wealthy, as Congress intended, but has cost more than 19,000 mostly blue-collar workers in the boat manufacturing industry their jobs.
 In addition to the job loss factor, Broome cites lost corporate taxes due to bankrupt boat manufacturing companies, lost personal income tax from the unemployed, the cost of unemployment to 19,000 unemployed boat workers, and lost state sales taxes as credible reasons to repeal the revenue negative tax. But he warns that time is now of essence.
 Broome added that the net export status of the industry and its positive balance of trade has helped highlight the boat "luxury" tax issue in Washington. "Not many U.S. industries have been this strong in the global marketplace. I think many in Washington are becoming increasingly more reluctant to see that slip away."
 White House Chief of Staff Sam Skinner announced full presidential support for repeal on ABC News' "This Week With David Brinkley," Sunday, Jan. 26, after a related front page story in the New York Times. Senate Majority Leader Mitchell backed repeal on CBS' "Face The Nation," NMMA said.
 Additional Facts and Figures from the National Marine Manufacturers Association:
 -- The U.S. powerboat industry is number one in boat sales and quality in the world. Some say that the Japanese and Germans see the slumping domestic marine industry as the perfect opening to increase their market share in the United States, just as they did with automobiles, electronics, etc.
 -- The hidden cost of the tax: the cost of enforcement by the IRS, the cost of compliance by retailers (higher costs in time, extra paperwork, and lost business), revenue losses from reduced tariff collections, increased unemployment benefits, and the general "ripple effect" when an industry lays off its workers.
 -- Those 19,000 marine workers were expected to pay $70 million in federal income tax in 1991.
 -- Retail sales of larger inboard motorboats were 3,500 units in 1991 (projected), compared to 7,500 in 1990 -- 54 percent lower, and compared to 12,300 in 1989, or 72 percent lower. 1991 saw the worst decline in sales in the past 22 years. 1991 sales were 32 percent lower than in 1982, which was a much more severe recession than the one we are currently experiencing. This is due to the boat luxury tax.
 -- The Bahamas recently reduced their boat taxes to less than 1 percent of a vessel's value. The move to lure American boaters, draw boat sales and service to the Bahamas, and in turn, create jobs for the Bahamas at our expense.
 -- America's boating industry is one of the few U.S. industries that maintains a net trade surplus -- $616 million in 1990.
 -- In 1990, approximately $14 billion was spent at retail level alone on boats and related expenditures.
 -- Building a boat is very labor intensive. It would take one person more than six months to build one 30-foot sailboat.
 -- Boat excise tax repeal legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Clay Shaw (R-Fla.), H.R. 951 "The Boating Jobs Preservation Act of 1991" with 169 co-sponsors, and in the Senate by Sens. John Breaux (D-La.) and John Chafee (R-R.I.), S. 649 with 31 co-sponsors.
 -0- 1/27/92
 /CONTACT: Cheri Jacobus of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 202-338-6662/ CO: National Marine Manufacturers Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: LEG


TW -- DC021 -- 3842 01/27/92 14:44 EST
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Date:Jan 27, 1992
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