March 4, 2014
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
A bill that could save aircraft owners and operators millions on aircraft maintenance and repairs is awaiting a final vote in the Wisconsin Assembly, and AOPA is encouraging members to contact their state lawmakers and ask them to support the measure.
Wisconsin residents can find their Assembly member through the Wisconsin State Legislature website.
The vote, which could come as early as March 11, is the final hurdle for Senate Bill 348 before it can go to the governor for his signature. If passed, the bill will create a state sales tax exemption for parts and labor used in aircraft maintenance.
AOPA has been actively engaged in promoting the measure. AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds testified Nov. 21 before the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee to explain the impact the tax break would have on the state’s pilots and aviation businesses, and to urge support for the proposal. Budds also wrote letters and met individually with key legislative leaders to encourage them to support the bill.
In the past, aircraft owners have traveled to neighboring states for major repairs and maintenance in order to avoid the tax. The new law will not only keep that work in the state, it will also save pilots time and money transporting their aircraft for repairs large and small.
Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) talks about the Pilots Bill of Rights II, which includes a provision to allow private pilots to fly an aircraft with up to six seats, weighing up to 6,000 pounds, VFR or IFR, without a third class medical certificate. The bill also reforms the NOTAM system, and provides more legal protections for pilots accused of regulatory infractions.
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