But, it killed the custom boat industry. There were a lot of small boat builders along the Atlantic Coast -- family-run operations that had been around for generations.
Yes, some of them built "mega yachts", but most of them were simply upscale sailboats and motor cruisers. The threshold was set so low, it added a significant premium to the sales price.
Boat buyers stopped ordering new boats, and instead bought used boats. The tax improved the used market for a while, so if you were looking to sell an existing boat (and not replace it with a comparable model), you could get a better price.
It was a classic case of unintended consequences, and an object example of Daniel Webster's quote: "An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy".
‘... family-run operations that had been around for generations ...’
That really ticks me off to think about it all over again.
I mean — their kids are now part of the conglameration of ‘me toos’ ...
“I’m a bank teller.”
“I’m a law student.”
“Me too. I really liked to build yachts, but our family went out of business.”