May 22, 2014
By Dan Namowitz
Kansas has passed AOPA-backed legislation to exempt amateur-built aircraft from property and ad valorem taxes.
The bill which contains the provision was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback on May 14, said Yasmina Platt, AOPA Central/Southwest regional manager.
AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association worked to support the provision, which takes effect July 1, adding homebuilt aircraft to the state’s existing property tax exemption for business aircraft and antique aircraft. The drive to pass the legislation got its start when Mark Navratil, a pilot from Spring Hill, Kan., researched the issue and brought it to the attention of other pilots and lawmakers.
The new exemption will apply to aircraft assembled "by a person or persons who undertook the construction project solely for their own education or recreation."
"Homebuilding an aircraft is very different from taking delivery of one that is already assembled," said Platt. "We hope that, with this legislation, we can help reduce the cost of this important activity in Kansas, which has led to so much innovation and creativity in aviation."
AOPA and EAA members expressed their support for the measure with phone calls, emails, and letters to lawmakers between its introduction in February and final passage. Platt pointed out to lawmakers that the bill would stimulate homebuilder activity in Kansas—a state in which the aviation industry has a large and economically important presence.
Navratil expressed his satisfaction with the outcome and urged pilots to stay involved with the legislative process. "Bottom line is we need both the advocacy efforts of AOPA and the grass-roots efforts of individual pilots around the country to keep general aviation alive," he said in an email. "If more individuals would get involved, I'm sure there are many other things that could be accomplished for GA. Please use success stories like this one to encourage the grass-roots activity."
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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