December 13, 2012
By Benét J. Wilson
AOPA’s government affairs team is working with key leaders in Indiana’s legislature on a bill that could eliminate taxes on key aviation activities in the state. The state’s 2013 legislative session is important because it is a budgeting year where legislators will plan the state’s finances for the next two years.
Indiana is one of only 15 states that impose a sales tax on aviation fuel, at 7 percent, which, in combination with the excise tax, makes its cumulative tax liability one of the highest in the country. Additionally, the state’s 7-percent sales tax on aircraft maintenance (parts and labor) stifles state maintenance providers and other related businesses, who watch as aircraft are ferried out of state for repair work in states with exemptions already in place—including neighboring Ohio.
“Several other states that have previously enacted economically stimulating tax cuts and exemptions of this nature have not only experienced a resultant uptick in GA jobs and investment, but also a net-gain in overall revenue from the increased direct and ancillary economic activity,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs. “And as we have examined Indiana in particular over the past several months, it has become abundantly clear that either or both of these potential measures will indubitably boost the state’s GA industry in this same manner.”
AOPA’s government affairs team discussed the state’s aviation fuel and aircraft maintenance sales tax structure during the legislature’s summer study, laying the groundwork for relief during the upcoming 2013 Indiana legislative session.
In the past year, AOPA has had extensive talks with Rep. Brian Bosma (R), speaker of the Indiana House, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Brandt Hershman (R) to explain the detrimental effects these tax rates have on the Hoosier aviation industry and the state’s economy.
“While we are still early in the process, the conversations with Speaker Bosma and Majority Floor Leader Hershman have been very positive,” said Kimberling. “As the session nears, we look forward to continuing our discussions with these, and other key legislators, to finally spur this vital economic growth across the state.”
The Indiana legislature’s 2013 session begins Jan. 1.
The Senate has joined the effort to expand the FAA's third-class medical exemption to more pilots and aircraft.
The International Society of Women Airline Pilots champions and supports women in the cockpit.
The FAA has asked the National Transportation Safety Board to review a judge’s ruling reversing a fine it levied in an unmanned-aircraft case.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.