February 18, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
Illinois State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-8th district) has introduced legislation that classifies general aviation airplanes costing more than $500,000 as “luxury items,” and proposes an additional 5-percent sales tax—on top of the 7.25-percent sales tax already in effect.
According to the language in Ford’s bill (Illinois H.B.451), general aviation airplanes are luxury items just like “fur clothing” and “jewelry.”
AOPA has written to the committee, explaining that the tax increase would be a hindrance to the economic recovery in Illinois. AOPA Great Lakes Regional Representative Bill Blake will be following up with the committee. The association will continue to work to defeat this bill and reach out to decision makers across the nation to correct this misguided perception of general aviation. It’s this sort of prejudice that creates an environment conducive to excessive taxes on general aviation. Ford’s legislation has been referred to committee, but no hearing or vote has yet been scheduled.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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