U.S. Senate approves whaling captain tax deduction

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Eskimo whaling captains could deduct hunting expenses from their income taxes under a charitable taxes bill passed by the U.S. Senate.

The whaling deduction was included in a provision in the bill approved Wednesday.

If passed by the House and signed by the president, the bill would allow subsistence whalers to deduct expenses like the cost of their boats, weapons and food for their crew.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, sought the deduction. She said it would help villagers afford the hunts that are important to their culture.

Whaling captains spend thousands of dollars on equipment and other provisions. Murkowski said that if whaling were a business, captains would be able to deduct those costs from their taxes. They also would be able to claim deductions for donations of whale meat to charitable organizations.

The deduction in the bill would be capped at $10,000.

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