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Virginia bill would lower aircraft maintenance costsVirginia bill would lower aircraft maintenance costs

An AOPA-backed bill to exempt parts and supplies used to repair or maintain aircraft from the state’s retail sales and use tax has passed the Virginia House of Delegates and will now be taken up by the state Senate.

Aircraft parts await use by mechanics at The Wright Experience in Warrenton, Virginia. An AOPA-backed bill to exempt aircraft parts and supplies from the state’s retail sales and use tax has passed the House and will be taken up by the Senate. Photo by David Tulis.Delegates voted 91-5 to approve Virginia House Bill 1738, which seeks to create "an exemption from the retail sales and use tax for parts and supplies used for maintaining, repairing, or reconditioning aircraft, including unmanned aerial systems.”

AOPA Director of State Government Affairs Jared Esselman and Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins both testified at hearings on the bill, which has garnered broad support from pilots and aviation organizations. Passage of a tax exemption measure in Virginia has been a priority for AOPA’s state legislative agenda in 2017.

The advocacy effort helped bring the bill back to active status after it was tabled in a House finance subcommittee—eventually winning Finance Committee backing on the way to the favorable vote of the full House.

AOPA has emphasized in communications with lawmakers that Virginia’s tax structure places its aviation sector at a regional competitive disadvantage, pressing the case for a tax exemption at the Virginia Aviation/Aerospace Legislative Reception on Feb. 1. The association also worked to support aviation on the Capitol grounds with the Virginia Aviation Business Association, and have worked closely throughout the effort with the National Business Aviation Association.

“Passage of this legislation will help level the playing field for many of Virginia’s aviation businesses—especially repair and maintenance organizations," said Collins. “That in turn could support local airports and create jobs, all while saving members up to six percent of maintenance costs. That’s as much as $1,500 on a typical engine overhaul and/or $600 savings on new avionics.”

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: State Legislation, Taxes

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