A group of legislators in Taiwan said the luxury tax on yacht owners has dampened the marine industry’s growth. The legislators say removing yachts from the luxury tax could create hundreds of new jobs in the boatbuilding sector.

Legislators from the southern city of Kaohsiung told the Want China Times that yacht-building should “boom” as new ports are established. But the luxury tax is instead stifling growth.

Huang Chao-shun, who represents the city, called on the government to remove the luxury tax. A member of the opposition party, Kuan Bi-ling, added that the government had not kept its promise to the people of Kaohsiung. Kuan said that just as the boating business began to take off, the luxury tax killed growth.

The current tax, which has been in place for more than two years, has collected only NT$7.3m (US$243,000), according to Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford.

But the legislators say the low revenues reflect the impact it has had on the boating industry. Other legislators complained anonymously to the Commercial Times that the Ministry of Finance has effectively eliminated a sector that could help revitalise Taiwan’s economy.

Legislator Lai Shyh-bao said there should not be any changes to the tax law, saying that the yacht sector should not be subject to favouritism.