Missouri hits aircraft owners with unexpected tax

July 9, 2009

The state of Missouri has been socking state aircraft owners with a 4.225 percent “use tax” for airplanes purchased in other states and threatening interest charges and 25 percent penalties as well.

Some of the state’s attempts to collect reach back many years, even in situations where aircraft owners have been paying property taxes in good-faith efforts to pay what they believed they owed.

“On behalf of Missouri’s aircraft owners, we suggest that the Department of Revenue should set some reasonable limitation on its efforts to reach back in time to collect a use tax on these aircraft,” AOPA Vice President Greg Pecoraro wrote in a letter on behalf of the owners of the 6,200 aircraft registered in Missouri.

“We would suggest that it is better for Missouri to keep these aircraft in state as taxable property, paying (property taxes) rather than adding another pressure for these owners to sell. With the right tax and business climate, general aviation and nonresident pilots can play an ever-increasing role in Missouri’s economic prosperity.”

AOPA will continue to support the efforts of the Missouri Pilots Association to persuade the state to modify its collections policy.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman | AOPA Pilot Senior Editor , AOPA

AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.