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Kerry promises `prompt' tax payment

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"Isabel," the 76-foot yacht owned by Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, is undergoing repairs at the Hinckley shipyard in Portsmouth, R.I., Friday, July 23, 2010. Kerry is docking his family's new $7 million yacht in neighboring Newport, R.I., allowing him to avoid paying roughly $500,000 in taxes to the cash-strapped Bay State. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

"Isabel," the 76-foot yacht owned by Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, is undergoing repairs at the Hinckley shipyard in Portsmouth, R.I., Friday, July 23, 2010. Kerry is docking his family's new $7 million yacht in neighboring Newport, R.I., allowing him to avoid paying roughly $500,000 in taxes to the cash-strapped Bay State. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

Sen. John Kerry has told the Massachusetts Department of Revenue he will pay all the taxes due on his new $7 million yacht despite basing the vessel in tax-free Rhode Island.

In a statement Tuesday to The Associated Press, the Democrat said, “The payment is being made promptly.”

The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee has been dogged by charges of tax evasion since last week, when the Boston Herald first reported about his decision to dock the 76-foot sloop Isabel in Newport, R.I.

Doing so spared Kerry a $437,500 one-times sales tax charge in Massachusetts, as well as about $70,000 in annual excise taxes.

In his statement, Kerry says, “Whether owed or not, we intend to pay the equivalent taxes as if the boat’s home-port were currently in Massachusetts.”

WBZ’s Ed Walsh talks to a Democratic strategist about the hubbub.

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