Taxes: Tempest in a Yacht

Basin The luxury tax hurts the economy and isn't worth the trouble to collect, argues an unusual alliance

The levy has been labeled the Robin Hood tax by one economist because it helps transfer money from the rich to the poor. Not everyone sees it that way, however. A rare chorus of blue-chip retailers and blue-collar workers denounces it as a disaster tax. At issue is the six-month-old "luxury tax" that Congress adopted last year as part of a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan. The new 10% excise tax was tacked onto such goods as pleasure boats, private airplanes, jewelry and fur. While the tax bite is not particularly severe -- a minuscule $25 million is expected to be raised in...

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