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03 juin 2006

Yacht tax forces wealthy to steer clear of Sardinia

(...) The new taxes were introduced by Sardinia's regional government to capitalise on the stream of billionaires that party every year on the Emerald Coast. The luxury tax applies to second homes, yachts and private aircraft and is expected to raise as much as £551 million.

Roman Abramovich anchored his 340ft yacht, Pelorus, in Porto Cervo, the multi-millionaires' favourite, last year. Princess Caroline of Monaco is another regular visitor. The rock star
Peter Gabriel and Sheikh Yamani, the former Saudi oil minister, have villas in the region.

Renato Soru, the island's president, is determined to "tax the rich". He said: "In most cases, these rich tourists do not even spend a euro in Sardinia."

The new law taxes yachts and houses according to their size. A yacht bigger than 98ft will have to pay £7,150. Houses up to 2,153 sq ft within two miles of the shore will have to pay £2,070 a year (...)

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