Italian holiday island to scrap tax on mega rich

Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:37am EDT
 
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ROME (Reuters) - The new governor of the sun-swept Italian island of Sardinia is repealing a tax on the mega rich that will benefit, among others, jet setters like billionaire Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Governor Ugo Cappellacci, the son of Berlusconi's tax adviser, proposed a budget that repeals the tax on mooring luxury yachts and landing private aircraft on the island where the prime minister owns a holiday mansion.

The luxury taxes, which opponents said scared away the rich and hurt tourism, were introduced under the previous center-left governor, Renato Soru, who was ousted in elections last month.

Berlusconi hand-picked Cappellacci out of virtual obscurity to run against Soru. His election victory triggered the resignation of Italy's opposition leader, Walter Veltroni.

Cappellacci is also expected to loosen restrictions on construction along Sardinia's famous coastline, as long environmental protections are respected.

(Writing by Phil Stewart)