May 22, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
The Pennsylvania House passed a bill, by a vote of 179 to 19, to exempt aircraft purchases and maintenance from the state’s 6-percent sales tax in action supporters said would return jobs and competitiveness to the state’s aviation industry.
AOPA and the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania have aggressively worked for passage of House Bill 1100 since its introduction in April 2011. The bill cleared the House May 21 and will now be referred to the Senate. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Peter J. Daley (D-Donora), and has been supported by about 60 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
AOPA reported in October 2011 that during hearings, legislators heard testimony from businesses and aviation colleges who said that while other northeastern states passed competitive provisions, Pennsylvania was experiencing a flight of aviation companies and skilled industry workers.
Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs, testified before a House committee that while Pennsylvania has more airports than states like Connecticut and Massachusetts, they have significantly fewer aviation workers employed in the state, who work elsewhere for “good, livable wages.”
Kimberling also recently visited Harrisburg to meet with House leadership on the issue, whom he states, are “fully committed to the legislation as a vitally important jobs measure.” Kimberling went on to say that AOPA and the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania will now turn their full attention to the Senate.
AOPA’s Central Southwest regional manager recently put GA’s utility to the test with a whirlwind trip covering four states, seven airports, and nine meetings.
Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill adding aviation to an existing recreational-use statute.
Smith Field in Fort Wayne, Ind., has withstood three separate attacks—in the 1970s, 1990s, and 2002—to close it and redevelop the land. Now, it's thriving.
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