Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Bureaucrats Solve Problems or Why We Should Shoot All the Deputy Ministers Long Before We Shoot All the Lawyers

2012 0124

Italy, racked by economic turmoil, recession and unrelenting overspending by government has decided that one way to solve its budget problems is to TAX SAILBOATS.

 Here is a report from Noonsite:

The newly appointed Italian government has presented parliament with a set of austerity measures to save the Italian economy. As it stands, boat owners / users (including foreign visiting yachts) will be subjected to a daily tax for the duration of their stay within italian waters. This will come into effect on the 1st May 2012 and the proposed tax per day is as follows:
a) euro 5 - from 10,01m to 12m;
b) euro 8 - 12,01m to 14m;
c) euro 10 - 14,01m to 17m;
d) euro 30 - 17,01m to 24m;
e) euro 90 - 24,01 to 34m;
f) euro 207 - 34,01m to 44m;
g) euro 372 - 44,01m to 54m;
h) euro 521 - 54,01m to 64m;
I) euro 703 - above 64m.

The above measurements are intended as overall length in accordance with EN/ISO/DIS 8666 Small Craft Principal Data.

The above daily tax rates will be reduced by 50% for all sailing yachts with an auxiliary engine. It is however still unclear whether this reduction will be restricted to sailing yachts between 10 and 12m or whether the 50% reduction will apply to any sailing yacht of any length..

Further reductions of the above rates will be applied to all yachts in accordance with the age of the yacht calculated with effect from the 1st january subsequent to the year of manufacture. The reductions are as follows:
  • 5 years and over - 15%;
    - 10 years and over - 30%;
    - 15 years and over - 40%.
All yachts undergoing yard maintenance will not be liable to pay tax for the duration of works.
The penalty for late, partial or non payment of the tax will be a charge between 200 and 300% over and above the amount of tax evaded.

Now there two certain outcomes:  
  • It will cost Italy more to collect this nightmare of a tax that it will collect.  Think of all the new bureaucrats and enforcement personnel that will have to be hired.
  • Once imposed it will never be removed.
and several possible additional outcomes:  
  • All foreign boats will leave Italy driving up the cost of wintering in Spain.  
  • Spain and all the other Med countries will follow suit and tax pleasure boats.
  • Every country with a metre of shoreline anywhere in the world will impose a tax for boats transiting their territorial waters.
For Meredith the tax will be €5 less 40% because we are more than 15 years old which leaves us at €3.  The €3 is reduced by 50% because we are a sailboat so our net tax will be €1.50 per day.  

 €1.50 is a not a lot of money.  But now we will have to carry proof of payment of tax at all times while in the country and produce it probably at every marina and to every cop and interfering government sob who demands it.  

We can enter Italy in a $100,000 motor home for free.  Somehow because I sail I must pay a tax.

If the tax holds it is unlikely we will go to Italy at all, not even by car.  This crap just pisses me off.

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