Sen. John Kerry on Monday snapped at reporters and tried to dodge questions about his new $7 million, 76-foot yacht.
On Friday, the Boston Herald reported that the Massachusetts Democrat had berthed his yacht Isabel in Rhode Island and suggested he was seeking to avoid paying about $437,000 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of around $70,000 that would be levied if he berthed the vessel in Massachusetts.
Rhode Island has no sales tax on yachts.
Following his first public appearance since the story broke, Kerry tried to dash off to his SUV but was intercepted by reporters who asked about the yacht controversy.
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“Wait a minute. Let’s get this straight,” Kerry snapped. “I’ve said consistently we’ll pay our taxes. We’ve always paid our taxes. It’s not an issue, period!”
Kerry said he docked the yacht in Rhode Island so it could have work done and that he would eventually move it to Massachusetts.
Fox News political editor Joe Battenfeld then noted that Kerry’s yacht, which he bought in March, had been spotted in Nantucket, Mass., where the senator summers with his wife Teresa Heinz. That would make Kerry liable for the sales tax.
Battenfeld asked Kerry point-blank if he had berthed the vessel in Massachusetts.
“That depends upon who owns it, Joe,” Kerry said, then told his driver, “Can I get out of here, please,” before he slammed the SUV’s door and drove off.
Kerry may have had in mind that the yacht is actually owned by a corporation in Pittsburgh, Teresa’s hometown.
But Fox News noted that it is “unclear how that would get Kerry off the hook for those taxes.”
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