March 20, 2014
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
The Wisconsin Assembly on March 20 passed AOPA-supported legislation that could save aircraft owners and operators millions on maintenance and repairs while keeping business in the state. The legislation, which passed 97-0 in the assembly and now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature, creates a state sales tax exemption for all parts and labor used in aircraft maintenance.
Earlier this month, AOPA asked members for their help, encouraging them to contact their state representatives and ask them to support the bill in advance of Thursday’s vote. As far back as Nov. 21, 2013, AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds testified 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 build needed support for 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 also will save pilots time and money transporting their aircraft for repairs large and small. In other states where similar legislation has passed into law, general aviation businesses have seen significant job growth as a result of increase GA activity.
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.
Pilots in Washington State have another voice advocating for them on airport, economic, legislative, and public perception issues: the Washington State Aviation Alliance.
Few states match Massachusetts when it comes to supporting airports, and the enthusiasm continues to be nurtured by AOPA and many others.
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