South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed an AOPA-backed bill to remove a 6 percent sales tax on maintenance performed on general aviation aircraft. Haley signed amended House Bill 3568 on June 15, and the tax exemption will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
South Carolina is home to 37 certified repair stations, but many of those businesses had been losing out on maintenance and repair work as cost-conscious aircraft owners took their aircraft to nearby Georgia, Florida, or Arkansas in order to avoid the tax.
“This new tax exemption is great news and will save GA owners thousands on maintenance and repair costs while supporting jobs and businesses in South Carolina,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “This is truly a win-win.”
AOPA thanked the South Carolina House Operations and Management Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, particularly Rep. Garry Smith and Sen. Paul Campbell, for helping make the state more aviation friendly and for boosting the economic engines of the state's airports by exempting sales taxes on aircraft maintenance.
AOPA’s South Carolina members took an active role in seeking lower costs when they responded to an AOPA-issued call-to-action e-mail urging them to contact their state lawmakers and ask them to support the bill.
In addition to AOPA, active supporters of the legislation included the South Carolina Aviation Association, the Carolina Aviation Professionals, and the National Business Aviation Association.
Over the years, AOPA has pursued and won similar tax exemptions in numerous other states, including New York, Florida, New Mexico, Kansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Maine. South Carolina is the twenty-first state to pass such an exemption.