February 2, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
The Idaho House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill exempting aircraft parts, supplies, and other components from the state’s sales and use tax. The bill, strongly supported by AOPA and the general aviation community, is now headed for Senate committee.
Idaho House Bill 417 passed the house 69-0 Feb. 1, just days after being introduced by the Revenue and Taxation Committee. Committee-backed bills can move directly to a floor vote, speeding the approval process.
AOPA Northwest Mountain Regional Manager David Ulane has worked with members and local businesses for passage of the bill as a means of making Idaho’s FAA-approved aircraft repair businesses more competitive with repair shops in states that already provide a favorable tax environment.
“This measure will undoubtedly spark new general aviation business and investment, as it will not only attract new out-of-state aircraft for maintenance work, but also, importantly, keep aircraft in state for repairs,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs.
In a Jan. 31 letter to Idaho House Speaker Lawrence Denney, Kimberling had urged passage of the bill, noting its strong support within the GA community, which includes 3,100 pilots in Idaho.
The state’s FAA-approved maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities would be able to “compete on a level playing field” following enactment, he wrote.
The bill contains an urgency provision that would allow it to take effect immediately on final passage.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole announced Oct. 16 that he would retire from the helm of the agency on Dec. 31. According to the TSA, Pistole is the longest serving administrator the agency has had. His nomination to head the TSA was confirmed in 2010.
The Voters Decide campaign is making a pre-election push for a ballot measure to put the future of SMO into the hands of voters.
At an Oct. 2 meeting hosted by AOPA, U.S. CBP leaders met with their counterparts from Canada to discuss ways to ease GA border crossings.
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