January 18, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
Two Florida lawmakers, seeking to boost the competitiveness of the state’s aviation maintenance industry, have introduced bills that would greatly expand existing sales-tax exemptions on parts, equipment, and labor used in aircraft repairs.
Bills introduced in the House by Rep. Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Bennett (R-District 21) would expand current sales and use tax exemptions to most general aviation aircraft by exempting airplanes weighing more than 2,000 pounds from an existing tax, expanding an exemption that now applies to airplanes weighing more than 15,000 pounds.
With passage, Florida would on July 1 join 31 states with sales tax exemptions on parts and or labor, with Maine a recent addition. AOPA and the Florida Aviation Trades Association have worked to extend the current sales tax exemption, emphasizing that the measure would better enable the state to attract and retain aviation maintenance businesses and jobs.
“The need for this legislation is apparent, not only because of the decline in out-of-state aircraft maintenance, but it is certainly demonstrated by the fact that some Florida aircraft owners are now actually bypassing countless world-class facilities to fly out of state for their maintenance work,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs.
In 2010 Florida passed a bill exempting recently purchased out-of-state aircraft from liability for a 6-percent use-tax.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
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