CONGRESSWOMAN SEEKS TO BRING MORE JOBS TO FL
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. —U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel said she is fighting to pass a bill that would change a 107-year-old federal law that bans the sale of foreign-flagged yachts to U.S. citizens while in U.S. waters.
"It's an outdated law," Frankel said.
Frankel said it discourages foreign ship owners from selling ships in the state, especially in south Florida.
"There's about 300 yachts right now on the market. These foreign-flag yachts that could be brought into our harbors." she said.
Frankel said Florida is No. 1 when it comes to recreational boating, an $11 billion industry.
She said a change in the law would generate thousands of marine-industry jobs and $2.4 billion dollars in economic activity.
"It's estimated that a new owner of a yacht will spend approximately 13 percent of the value of his or her yacht just to make repairs and upgrades the moment that the transfer is made," Frankel said.
Jason Sprague, runs the Rybovich Marine in West Palm Beach, said he's seen super yachts that cost up to $50 million.
Sprague said a change in the law makes sense.
"There's no one location that can handle all of the work," Sprague said.
"If this state as a whole doesn't do more to accommodate them, they'll stay in Europe."
Frankel said the bill has bipartisan support.
Article Author: Ted white