Thursday, 26 March 2009

Sardinian Luxury Yacht Tax Scrapped

A tax on luxury yachts mooring in the waters of Sardinia and private jets landing at its airports is to be repealed by the Mediterranean island.

Sardinia's new governor, who is the son of Silvio Berlusconi's tax adviser, is to scrap a tax on super yachts as one of his first acts in office.
Ugo Cappellacci will also repeal a tax on private aircraft touching down on the island, which had cost jetsetters such as Mr Berlusconi, who owns a large villa on Sardinia, up to £690 a time.

Mr Cappellacci is also expected to loosen restrictions on construction along Sardinia's rugged coastline.
The luxury yacht tax, which critics said scared away super-rich boat owners, was introduced in 2006 by Sardinia's previous centre-left governor, Renato Soru, who was ousted in elections last month.
He had argued that revenue from the tax helped boost the island's economy and contributed to conserving its natural beauty.
Sardinia is a summer playground for the world's rich and famous, particularly along its famed Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast.
The tax currently applies to all yachts longer than 46ft. The owners of mega-yachts reaching 200ft in length were being charged up to US$20,000 for the privilege of spending the summer in a Sardinian port.
Even boat owners visiting the island for just a day were required to pay the tax.
The fees were up to 50 times higher than those of equivalent yachting destinations such as Croatia, Greece and Sardinia's northern neighbour, Corsica.
Mr Berlusconi plucked Mr Cappellacci from virtual obscurity to contest the Sardinian election.