AOPA is working with Pennsylvania aviation advocates to defend a sales-tax exemption for aviation parts and maintenance that was passed in 2013, as the state copes with what Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget plan characterizes as a “deficit challenge.”
The Aviation Council of Pennsylvania has warned that repealing the tax exemption on aircraft maintenance performed in the state “is the equivalent of creating an up to 8% penalty (6% state sales tax locality tax in certain areas) on any person or business who wants to acquire maintenance services” in Pennsylvania.
Jared Esselman, AOPA director of state government affairs, and AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins are working with the council, and with state Sen. David Argall (R-District 29), chair of the Senate Aviation Caucus, to stress the exemption’s importance to the preservation of jobs and businesses in the state’s aviation sector. Collins also emphasized that point in a letter to Wolf.
“To remain competitive in a region filled with aviation-friendly states, Pennsylvania must retain its targeted exemption on aircraft maintenance,” he wrote.
Collins offered an example of how a manager of a business aircraft could realize savings of up to $30,000 on a large maintenance order by “acquiring services out of state” if the exemption were repealed.
He noted that every state northeast of Ohio and north of New Jersey provides an exemption, with Virginia passing an exemption bill in 2017, and West Virginia “currently advancing legislation that seeks to do the same.”
The current tax exemption was signed into law by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett in July 2013 as an element of that year’s budget legislation.