A tax break for those who want to buy yachts costing $250,000 or more will be considered by the Texas House of Representatives after Republican state lawmakers passed the legislation in the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.

The measure, HB 2187, would cap the maximum sales tax the state could collect on the sale of a yacht. It was passed by an 8 to 3 vote along party lines, with Republicans supporting the measure.

The tax break comes after Republicans proposed deep cuts to education, nursing homes, and other basic government services. The state has a $27 billion deficit.

"With all due respect, sometimes I'm not sure what planet my Republican colleagues live on," said San Antonio Democratic Rep. Mike Villarreal in a statement. "How can they say tax breaks for yachts are a higher priority than supporting our children's classrooms or keeping nursing homes open?"

Republican Rep. John Davis, who sponsored the tax break, said it is needed to prevent potential yacht owners from traveling to Florida, which has a similar sales tax cap.

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