A long-awaited bill to uphold Virginia’s sales tax exemption for aircraft maintenance was signed into law on March 3, but final concessions excluded many small businesses and aircraft owners from reaping its benefits.
During the 2022 legislative session, AOPA and the Virginia Aviation Business Association (VABA) worked to extend the state’s 2017 sales tax exemption for aircraft parts and components—which would lower costs for pilots, stimulate competition, and boost the local economy.
AOPA was a key component in getting the bill passed in 2017, working to educate lawmakers on the incentives the tax exemption would bring to the state. Since it was enacted, the exemption has allowed Virginia-based aviation business to compete with neighboring states that offer similar incentives such as Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
But since the legislation amended language to include a weight limit, many owners of small aircraft and businesses in rural communities will be at a competitive disadvantage.
“Extending the sales tax exemption will benefit many larger GA aircraft owners and businesses in the state; however, we are disappointed that the same incentives weren’t afforded to training aircraft and smaller mom and pop repair facilities and flight schools,” said AOPA Eastern Regional Manager Sean Collins. “AOPA will continue to educate lawmakers on this important component of the industry and the value it brings to Virginia’s economy with the goal of removing the weight limit in the next legislative session.”