April 18, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
The Ohio House’s Finance and Appropriations Committee has stripped from the proposed state budget a bid to expand a 5-percent sales tax to services including aircraft rentals and charters. Rejecting the expanded tax should help preserve competitiveness of Ohio’s $5.5 billion aviation industry, AOPA said.
On April 9, the committee released its amended version of House Bill 59, Gov. John Kasich’s fiscal 2014-2015 budget proposal without Kasich’s plan to expand the sales tax to numerous services—for example those provided by real estate professionals and attorneys—as well as the aviation services.
“We are pleased to see the Finance and Appropriations Committee take the important step to protect the hundreds of flight schools and charter operators from a significant tax increase,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs. “To have sales tax attached to both aircraft rental and charter operations would have left Ohio’s aviation businesses at a competitive disadvantage with many surrounding states that do not assess sales tax on these operations.”
AOPA, which has approximately 12,000 members in Ohio, had urged the panel in a letter to its chairman, Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-District1) not to saddle Ohio’s $5.5 billion aviation industry with the competitive disadvantage a new cost burden would create.
“To impose an additional 5 percent sales tax on aircraft rental or charter would simply drive that aviation activity across the border—taking not only the jobs dependent on management of such aircraft but also the ancillary economic impact driven by Ohio’s current aviation industry,” wrote Bryan Budds, AOPA Great Lakes regional manager.
AOPA will remain in contact with Ohio’s legislative aviation caucus and other lawmakers about the budget package as further hearings are held, Kimberling said.
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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