Florida legislature aims to correct aircraft tax law

May 1, 2008

Florida legislature aims to correct aircraft tax law

By AOPA ePublishing staff

The Florida legislature is moving one step closer to correcting a tax law, which has left some aircraft owners with big tax bills.

The state Department of Revenue has recently been charging Florida use tax on any airplane that is brought to the state within six months of being bought if the owner did not pay at least 6 percent sales tax at the time of purchase.

The House on April 30 passed AOPA-backed legislation (H.B.1379) that would exempt aircraft owned by nonresidents from the use tax. However, there is a stipulation. It applies to aircraft that enter and remain in the state for less than 21 days during the first six months after purchase.

“This is a good first step that should cover the needs of most of our members,” said AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro.

AOPA has been working with the Florida Department of Transportation and state lawmakers to resolve the issue. There are also bills moving in the Senate that would accomplish the same thing as the House bill.

In a March 20 letter to Gov. Charlie Crist, AOPA President Phil Boyer warned that the aggressive tax enforcement is keeping many general aviation pilots from visiting the state, which typically receives 9 million visitors and $2.3 billion in revenue through GA each year. AOPA Expo is scheduled to be held in Tampa in 2009.

May 1, 2008