Happy Tax Freedom Day 2010!
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Florida tax tidbit: yacht tax breaks

Florida flag Florida residents escape personal income, inheritance, gift or intangible personal property taxes. But the Sunshine State has to get operating funds from somewhere, so it collects a variety of other taxes and fees.

One of the state's major revenue raisers is sales tax. Now, however, it looks like that levy on some high-dollar purchases may be reduced. 

As part of a nearly $90 million package of tax breaks approved last week by the Florida House, buyers of mega yachts would see their sales taxes capped at $18,000.

Supporters of the yacht sales tax break argue that it would help Florida compete for business with other states that also offer generous tax breaks on boat purchases. The limited sales tax also would benefit other businesses, say tax-cut advocates, because the luxury boat buyers will spend that money on additional equipment that goes with owning such vessels.

Opponents, however, contend it's just another sop for the rich. "If you can afford to buy a yacht, you can afford to pay the taxes on it," says State Sen. Frederica Wilson, a Miami Democrat who is running for a seat in the U.S. Congress.

The sales tax bill, which also would reinstate a back-to-school sales tax holiday in August, passed the Republican-controlled House along a primarily party-line vote. It now goes to the Senate. If it clears that body, Gov. Charlie Crist has said he will sign it.

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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