Previous Next

Joe Kaufman Proposes "Coastal Minority Jobs Initiative"

Dear District 23 Constituents,

South Florida is struggling to produce living wage jobs, and the income gap between the poor and rich is increasing each year. “Miami is the most unequal big city in the entire country...” according to a report from Bloomberg (Source:

According to South Florida Business Journal,

Between 2014 and 2015, income inequality grew 16.8 percent in Miami and the lowest earners saw a drop in income while the highest-earners saw a rise.” (Source:

The Joe Kaufman For Congress Campaign recognizes that South Florida and the National Marine Industry is a means to help solve this income disparity problem, especially for minorities and newly arrived immigrants. South Florida alone comprises a $17.2B marine industry and has over 202,000 workers taking care of their families.

On a national level minorities makeup 34% of the shipbuilding industry. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - But, the Marina Industry is still lacking. Staley Weidman, a Director with The International Yacht Brokers Association, estimates, "about 10%-15% of the labor force in South Florida are minorities".

Our proposal seeks to grow this market by 30% in the next ten years, and the presence of more minorities and newly arrived immigrants by working with trade schools, boating companies, and legislatures to promote opportunities available.

Archaic laws that forbid U.S. residents from viewing and purchasing foreign boats in U.S. waters is hurting our ability to produce these jobs for South Florida and increase the tax base for our county, state and federal government. It is especially hurting our low-income communities from experiencing upward mobility, as the Bloomberg and South Florida Business Journal exposed.

As we wrote earlier, these boats cannot be offered for sale to U.S. residents while in U.S. waters, because of an outdated law that was passed in 1930 called "Tariff Act" that requires these foreign boats to first be imported and then have duty paid on the appraised value. Pre-sale tax is assessed on an estimated value, rather than on the actual selling price (See Bill HR-2369 For More Details)

Economists project by removing this archaic law it would produce $2.46 billion in annual revenue and generate thousands of living wage jobs. Typically in the US market, there are 300-400 used boats valued at more than $2B. 10% of the value of each of these boats is spent annually on labor, goods, services, and maintenance contributing $200M yearly to the local economy, like South Florida’s. New buyers typically pay 13% of the purchase price on upgrades and improvements, the first year, generating an additional $260M for the local economy, like South Florida’s.

This archaic boating law is like listing your house for sale and paying taxes for the appraised value before you even sell the house or find a buyer. In fact, the day you put it on the market, you would have to pay taxes on the appraised value and not the actual price someone is willing to pay. Can you imagine how many homes would never be on the market with such a requirement? Why is our laws hindering the ability of businesses to be more competitive internationally and create jobs?

This law is hurting South Florida minorities and newly arrived immigrants who have a vocational calling to the Marina Industry. Poverty is creating an undue burden on our healthcare, schools to prison pipeline, and the overall well-being of our communities.

Enough is enough! It is time to bring solutions to South Floridians who are experiencing income disparity. The Joe Kaufman For Congress Campaign will be working with local job development nonprofits, civil rights organizations, local and federal legislators, clergy, families, marina based businesses and yacht associations to develop a proposal for President Trump named: “Coastal Minority Jobs Initiative.

This initiative has a simple mission: To motivate President Trump to pass an executive order to undo this law and allow monies to flow in our coastal cities so that we can produce thousands of jobs for minorities and newly arrived immigrants called to the marine industry.

Also, we are supporting any legislator and bipartisan bills like HR-2369 that seeks to undo this law. This jobs initiative will not only affect my constituents in District 23 who work on the marinas, but it has the potential to revive discarded communities in America.

Our communities desperately need more living wage jobs. Our initiative is common sense and compassionate effort that does not seek to give a handout, but a hand up through free market enterprise, as we remove an archaic law that is clogging the pathway to more economic prosperity.


Joe Kaufman

Congressional Candidate for District 23