Maryland’s aircraft repair industry could find itself in a bind if lawmakers do not act on legislation to exempt aircraft parts from the state sales tax, AOPA said in an effort to spur action on a bill stalled in a House committee.
If no action is taken on the legislation before the lawmaking session ends in a matter of days or weeks, Maryland “may soon be the only State taxing aircraft parts and components from South Carolina to Maine,” wrote AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins in a letter to Delegate Anne Kaiser (D-District 14), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
AOPA has worked with Sen. Steve Waugh (R-District 29) and Delegate Sid Saab (R-District 33), sponsors of legislation to level the playing field for Maryland’s aircraft maintenance businesses with the tax exemption, providing job security for workers in the sector and reducing aircraft owners’ costs by about 6 percent, or about $300 for new Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment.
Waugh’s bill, Senate Bill 159, passed the Senate unanimously, but has not has not been brought to vote in the House Ways and Means Committee.
AOPA has communicated with its approximately 6,000 members in Maryland, urging them to contact lawmakers and request that the Senate bill, which contains a “sunset” provision allowing the law to expire after five years if the expected economic benefit is not realized, be moved along.
The measure also has support from the Maryland Airport Managers Association, the National Business Aviation Association, and numerous local businesses and aircraft mechanics, Collins said.
“A targeted tax exemption is an investment in the local aviation industry,” Collins said.
“If legislators are concerned about giving up tax revenues today for improved economic activity tomorrow, the ‘sunset’ amendment ensures that the tax law would automatically revert to pre-exemption status if expected returns do not materialize,” he said.