The New York State Assembly voted June 16 to extend the state’s current sales-tax exemption on general aviation aircraft maintenance by a nearly unanimous vote: 145 to 1.
Recognizing the role of GA in increasing economic development in the state, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger introduced legislation to retain the benefits of aircraft-related businesses and attract more business to the state.
AOPA has been working with the New York Aviation Management Association (NYAMA) and key lawmakers to convey the importance of the legislation, which makes the sales-tax exemption on maintenance and repair of aircraft permanent. AOPA also called on members in the state to contact their state representatives to express support for the bill.
“The New York sales-tax exemption for aircraft maintenance and repair has helped the state economy thrive and has kept its aviation sector competitive with neighboring states,” said AOPA Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy Greg Pecoraro. “New York pilots made it clear to the Assembly that raising the cost of maintaining airplanes would harm a key industry, and their support has been critical to the passage of this bill.”
In the year after the exemption was put in place in 2004, the state saw an increase in taxable income from businesses involved in aviation maintenance and repair and a three-percent jump in employment in the sector. The exemption is set to expire Dec. 1.
Now the fate of the bill depends on the resolution of a weeks-long power struggle in the state Senate. In a surprise move, two Democratic state senators aligned with Republicans in their effort to seize control of the Senate. But one of the senators has since returned to the Democratic side, leaving the Senate split evenly, 31 to 31, with both sides claiming control. Although the bill is believed to have solid support in the Senate, the future of the legislation is uncertain, along with many other important measures, until the Senate ends its political standoff.