March 25, 2004
Mar. 25, 2004 - Exempting aircraft sales and repairs from New York's 4% sales and use tax tops AOPA's legislative agenda in the Empire State.
AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Roger Cohen and Northeast Regional Representative Craig Dotlo pressed the issue during face-to-face meetings with key legislators and officials from the governor's office in Albany recently.
Cohen and Dotlo were in Albany as part of Advocacy Day, hosted by the New York Airport Managers' Association (NYAMA), to push for cost-saving measures for members.
The aircraft and repair exemption - with a statewide savings for pilots valued at anywhere from $2 million-$10 million annually - is part of a broad economic development package backed by Joe Bruno (R-43rd Dist.), the powerful majority leader of the state senate. The measure is designed to keep sales and repair activity in New York State. Many New York pilots currently go to neighboring states such as Connecticut and Massachusetts for repairs or sales transactions. In recent years, those states have enacted similar legislation in order to attract aviation activity and jobs.
In New York State, most of the budget deliberations are done not by the assembly and senate, but by the three most powerful individuals in state government: Governor George Pataki (R-N.Y.), state senate leader Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-64th Dist.).The general aviation exemption is likely to be included in the overall budget deliberations - a process political insiders call "three men in a room."
The state's budget process has proven difficult recently, with the state missing its constitutional April 1 deadline for 19 years running. Last year both chambers overturned Pataki's veto of the legislature's budget. This year's budget is also expected to involve difficult choices and political considerations.
AOPA members can help by contacting Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, thanking him for his leadership in spearheading the aircraft tax exemption.
AOPA is offering special aircraft financing for flying clubs as a way to help new flying clubs acquire quality aircraft while aiding existing clubs that want to expand their fleets.
An annual celebration of aviation in Imperial County, California, drew a large number of local residents to the Imperial County Airport.
An AOPA-backed bill would create a partial abatement of property or sales and use taxes for Nevada businesses that repair aircraft or components.
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