March 10, 2014
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
A new law to exempt aircraft parts and labor from the New Mexico’s gross receipts tax will save pilots and aircraft owners millions on repairs and maintenance while bringing jobs to the state.
Gov. Susanna Martinez signed the law March 6, saying it will help level the playing field for New Mexico’s aviation industry. In the past, aircraft owners have gone to neighboring states with similar tax exemptions, including Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, for maintenance.
The new law, which exempts aircraft parts and labor from a 5.125-percent gross receipts sales tax, already is credited with bringing jobs to New Mexico. Santa Fe Aero Services, which has locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, plans to buy an El Paso-based aviation business and move it across the state line. That purchase is expected to create 20 new jobs for technicians over the next three years.
AOPA worked closely with state Rep. James White and state Sen. Carlos Cisneros, who introduced the bill. AOPA Central Southwest Regional Manager Yasmina Platt also explained the importance of general aviation in the state and urged support of the bill during an “Aviation Day at the Capitol” held in Santa Fe on the same day as the vote on the bill.
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.
An AOPA-backed bill would create a partial abatement of property or sales and use taxes for Nevada businesses that repair aircraft or components.
Under a current Washington law, only 10 percent of the aircraft excise taxes that aircraft owners pay go to the Washington State Division of Aeronautics, while the other 90 percent go into the general fund. AOPA is advocating for legislation that would direct 100 percent of the tax to aviation use.
An AOPA-backed bill that would lift a tax burden on long-unsold aircraft in dealer inventories has cleared an Indiana state Senate committee.
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