Taxes are for the little people?

Summer is back in New England and you know what that means — backyard barbecues, traffic tie-ups on the Cape, and the return of one of the most storied sailing vessels on the high seas — U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry’s yacht.

The Herald Truth Squad made a surprise inspection of the $7 million Isabel last week while it was docked in tony Newport, R.I. — a strange location considering it’s the place that landed Kerry in hot water two summers ago.

That’s when the Herald reported that the Massachusetts Democrat was avoiding a six-figure sales tax bill by keeping the luxury yacht in Rhode Island, rather than Massachusetts. The senior senator sustained major political damage, but Kerry eventually paid up and moved the Isabel to his home base of Nantucket.

Kerry’s office told the Truth Squad last week that the Isabel is still registered in Nantucket, and was apparently just making a stopover in Newport.

The super-secret skipper of the Isabel refused to say where the vessel had come from, and why it was docked back in Rhode Island. But other sources said it spent the winter in the Caribbean, and was headed back to Nantucket for Memorial Day weekend.