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West Virginia passes ‘fly away’ tax exemption

West Virginia’s aviation industry could see a spike in activity after a “fly-away” exemption was signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice on March 25.

Photo by Chris Rose.

The AOPA-supported measure, S. B. 530, gives transient aircraft owners and operators 60 days to remove the aircraft from the state before being hit with West Virginia’s 6-percent sales tax.  News of the fly-away exemption is a positive step for the Mountain State as it is intended to incentivize sellers to bring more transactions to West Virginia. The anticipated increase in transactions should serve to spur additional economic activity for the state’s system of airports through increases in fuel sales, parking fees, and repairs.

“West Virginia pilots can be proud of this action by the legislature as an effort to support the local aviation industry,” said AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins. “However, we must continue to work with legislators to better position West Virginia’s aviation industry—airports and service providers —to effectively compete with its regional neighbors.”

Bordering states Pennsylvania and Virginia exempted aircraft maintenance from state sales taxes in 2013 and 2017, respectively, while Maryland’s legislature just passed similar legislation, awaiting Gov. Larry Hogan’s consideration to be enacted.

“Successful legislative efforts like these require a coalition of industry partners working together. West Virginia members have their airport managers to thank for stepping up to lead on this issue, with AOPA’s support,” continued Collins. “West Virginia can be proud of the fact that these actions illustrate that legislators are indeed listening.  Rather, industry can now coalesce around a new effort that will continue to aim to improve West Virginia’s small but mighty aviation industry.”

The legislation is set to take effect on July 1.

Amelia Walsh

Communications and Research Specialist
AOPA Communications and Research Specialist Amelia Walsh joined AOPA in 2017. Named after the famous aviatrix, she comes from a family of pilots and is currently working on her pilot certificate.
Topics: Advocacy, Economic Impact, Taxes

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