August 15, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
AOPA is urging the city of Grand Junction to extend the existing sales tax exemption for aircraft materials, parts, and components installed on aircraft under the city code. The Grand Junction City Council will take up the measure on Aug. 21.
Installed aircraft parts and components are currently exempted from Grand Junction’s 2.75-percent sales tax. These items are already exempted from Colorado’s state 4-percent sales tax.
However, in many cities across the state, those parts and components may not be exempted from local, city, or county sales taxes. In 2010, the city of Grand Junction recognized the importance of competitive aircraft parts sales taxes on its economic development, allowing aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facilities at the Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) to be competitive and creating highly skilled and paid jobs and stimulating regional economic development.
Grand Junction-based West Star Aviation is the largest MRO in western Colorado, and employs more than 300 full-time employees and credits that to the existing sales city tax exemption. An extension of the exemption is also supported by the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, who has worked closely with West Star on their development growth.
The effort in Grand Junction is part of a long list of initiatives monitored by AOPA’s regional advocacy team, which continues to monitor and support state and local initiatives and tax structures that benefit members and support a strong general aviation economy and community.
The Grand Junction City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the extension for Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Grand Junction City Council Chambers. Western Colorado AOPA members are being urged to reach out to the city council and support a continuation of the sales tax exemption.
Continuation of this exemption will allow Grand Junction’s MRO facilities to remain competitive with MRO facilities located in other municipalities and states with such tax exemptions already in place, said David Ulane, AOPA Northwest Mountain Regional Manager in a letter to the city. “Aircraft are highly mobile assets, and this extension will permit Grand Junction’s MRO facilities to continue to attract valuable aircraft maintenance work from across the country,” he said. “This in turn can create new skilled, family-sustaining aircraft maintenance jobs and much-needed additional economic development for the City of Grand Junction and Colorado’s western slope.”
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