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West Virginia passes sales tax exemption for aircraft parts, labor

Editor's note: This story was updated April 21 to correct the rate of savings aircraft owners will derive from the exemption of parts and labor used in aircraft maintenance from West Virginia's consumer sales and service tax to 6 percent. Examples of savings based on estimated maintenance costs were also adjusted. We regret the error.

A bill exempting parts and labor used in aircraft maintenance from West Virginia’s consumer sales and service tax beginning September 1 has been passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice.

A mechanic repairs a small aircraft. iStock photo.

The AOPA-backed measure will result in savings for aircraft owners of 6 percent on maintenance services and eliminates a regional competitive disadvantage faced by aviation maintenance shops in the state since Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia approved similar exemptions, said Sean Collins, AOPA eastern regional manager.

As introduced, the legislation, Senate Bill 305, was originally limited to aircraft with a basic empty weight of 6,000 pounds or more. However, AOPA worked with Sen. Chandler Swope (R-District 6), an AOPA member and rotorcraft pilot, on an amendment that broadened the tax exemption to apply to all aircraft, Collins said.

The exemption is expected to save owners of single-engine aircraft an estimated $150 per year based on average annual maintenance costs of $2,500. Owners of twin-engine aircraft may save $240, assuming average annual maintenance expenses of $4,000.

The bill’s passage gained momentum from the active engagement of AOPA members in West Virginia—and Collins noted that nonresidents who have purchased aircraft in the Mountain State will also find new incentives to have their aircraft serviced there: In 2020, West Virginia passed a measure that gave out-of-state aircraft operators a 60-day window to fly their aircraft out of the state before being slapped with a 6-percent sales tax, he said.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: Advocacy, State Legislation, Economic Impact

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