May 20, 2004 - AOPA's Eastern Regional Representative Craig Dotlo is pressing legislators in both Rhode Island and New York to pass bills exempting general aviation aircraft, parts, and services from state sales and use taxes before the legislatures adjourn. However, the process to pass the legislation differs greatly in both New York and Rhode Island.
In Rhode Island, several measures have been introduced that exempt aircraft and parts from sales taxes, and AOPA is urging Rhode Island pilots to contact their legislators urging support.
In New York, a tax exemption measure would most likely be part of budget deliberations conducted by just three men: State Senate President Joe Bruno (R-43rd Dist.), Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-64th Dist.), and Gov. George Pataki (R-N.Y.). AOPA staff traveled to Albany earlier this year to urge approval of the measure.
Both New York and Rhode Island have lost aviation business to neighboring Connecticut and Massachusetts, which have each passed tax-exempt legislation in recent years, making it cheaper for pilots from New York and Rhode Island to buy and repair aircraft in those states.
"Passing these aircraft tax exemptions in Rhode Island and New York this year would save our members money, as well the hassle of 'hop-scotching' around New England to avoid sales taxes," said AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Roger Cohen. "The states benefit as well from increased economic activity at the airports and the excellent jobs aviation supports."