Would you charge sales tax on entry-level cars and exempt luxury vehicles? Then why tax the sale of a small GA aircraft while exempting corporate jets? That's the question AOPA is asking legislators in Maine as they consider proposals to do just that.
A bill before the state Senate, LD 1074, would exempt all aircraft, parts, and service from sales tax. But a move is in the works to limit that exemption on aircraft sales to aircraft weighing more than 6,000 pounds.
In a letter to Maine Sen. Joseph Perry, chairman of the Senate Taxation Committee, AOPA reminds lawmakers that continuing to impose sales tax on aircraft sales and services will simply drive business to neighboring states that do not have such taxes, resulting in the loss of revenue and jobs in Maine. Worse, an aircraft sales tax based on an arbitrary weight is discriminatory. Oklahoma recently acted to drop its tax based on aircraft weight because it was cumbersome to administer and bad for the state's economy.
"To not tax the sale of a corporate jet while continuing to tax the sale of a small, four-seat propeller airplane is akin to taxing a Ford Escort while granting tax-free treatment to a luxury Lincoln Town Car," wrote Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs.
April 13, 2005