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Massachusetts Pilot Action AlertMassachusetts Pilot Action Alert

Massachusetts Pilot Action Alert

The issue: HB 4837, Aircraft and Parts Tax Relief Bill

The Massachusetts Legislature will soon consider an important bill that affects pilots, aircraft owners, FBOs, flight schools, aircraft maintenance/overhaul facilities, and airports throughout the commonwealth. The legislation provides tax relief for aircraft and parts sales, making Massachusetts much more competitive with neighboring states.

Representative Cele Hahn’s Aircraft Sales and Use Tax House Bill, HB 4837, was released favorably from the Taxation Committee on October 19, 1999, and on January 19, 2000, was referred favorably from the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill still has a long way to go before reaching the governor’s desk. It will now go to the full House, where it first needs to be placed on the House calendar for debate. The house will then vote to engross the bill. From there it will move to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, then to the Senate for a vote to engross, back to the House for a vote to enact, again to the Senate for a vote to enact, and finally, after success at each step, it will be placed before the governor for his signature.

HB 4837 applies to all aircraft and is not weight limited. AOPA strongly supports this legislation and urges all Massachusetts pilots and aircraft owners to act now.

Why it’s important

This legislation will provide Massachusetts aviation businesses and aircraft owners similar relief to that provided in adjoining states. Currently aircraft are sold or based in neighboring states because of taxes currently charged in Massachusetts. This means less business for the state’s FBOs and airports. They lose the income provided by selling and supporting aircraft—thus they must spread their costs over fewer pilots and owners. For these businesses and airports to be viable, they must regain this lost business. Massachusetts owners and pilots will benefit from lower prices and better facilities.

What you should do

Pilots and owners are urged to stay informed regarding this legislation and contact their elected representatives, asking them to vote in support of it. Letters and faxes are most effective, but e-mail and phone contacts are useful too. Initially we are concentrating on contacting representatives in the House, where the bill is now being considered.

Be sure that the first line of your letter clearly states that the letter is submitted in strong support of House Bill 4837. The bill number must be included.

Ask your own representative for his or her assistance in placing HB 4837 on the House calendar and for a favorable vote to engross the bill.

It is important to describe how the current tax affects you personally. You might point out how the tax affects your own ability to operate your aircraft in support of business and employment travel, or how the current tax drives owners to base their aircraft and buy maintenance services across the border, hurting businesses in Massachusetts. Note the loss of local income caused by the reduction in high-paying aviation jobs in Massachusetts due to the emigration of aircraft to surrounding states. Describe how tax relief will help build strong businesses and airports in Massachusetts.

Thank your representative for considering the matter and acting favorably in support of you, his or her constituent.

Who to contact

  1. Write your state representative now. When the issue moves to the Senate, please write your state senator.

    This site provides a list of all state representatives in Massachusetts.

  2. Send a copy to AOPA:

    If you mail, fax, or e-mail your views on this issue to your elected officials, please do send a copy to:

    AOPA State Legislative Affairs
    421 Aviation Way
    Frederick, MD 21701
    Fax: 301/695-2214 .

    Please also send a copy to sponsor Representative Cele Hahn of Westfield, at her district office,
    P.O. Box 1248
    Westfield, MA 01086
    Fax: 617/722-2821
    E-mail: [email protected]

  3. Please help us get the word out. Copy and e-mail or mail this notice to your fellow pilots and aviation groups in Massachusetts. Print it out and post it at your airport in public locations. Urge your airport manager, members of your airport commission, and your town officials to contact their representatives in the legislature in support of HB 4837.

January 28, 2000

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