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NBAA Pushes Pro-Aviation Tax Policies in Three Eastern States

May 17, 2013

NBAA has redoubled its advocacy efforts in three Eastern states – Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania – where lawmakers are considering tax legislation that would have a major impact on general aviation (GA).

In its outreach activities, NBAA is teaming up with other industry advocates to highlight the economic benefits of tax policies that generate growth in the aviation sector. States that exempt aircraft from sales and use taxes attract more based aircraft and, therefore, create more jobs to maintain those aircraft.

“Business aviation is still recovering from the economic downturn,” said Scott O'Brien, NBAA’s senior manager of finance and tax policy. “Sales and use tax exemptions for aviation can go a long way toward sustaining and strengthening that recovery while helping states boost their private-sector employment rolls.”

In Maine, NBAA is working with legislators, the governor's office and Maine-based Members to generate support for bill LD 279, which would extend the 5 percent sales tax exemption for aircraft, parts and maintenance. The exemption, originally adopted in 2011, is already benefitting aviation businesses in Maine, but is scheduled to end in June 2015. LD 279, which was introduced in the state Senate, would make the exemption permanent. Review the NBAA article “Maine Seeks to Make Aircraft Tax Exemption Permanent.”

In Massachusetts, House Bill 2490 would repeal the tax-exempt status for aircraft sales, subjecting them to the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. Although similar legislation in prior years has failed to become law, NBAA is collaborating with other GA groups to defeat this latest proposal and ensure the exemption is preserved. At a May 14 hearing at the Massachusetts State Capitol in Boston, NBAA testified that the bill would devastate aircraft repair businesses in the state and imperil the nearly 10,000 jobs that GA provides in Massachusetts. Read NBAA’s “Call to Action: Oppose Proposal to Repeal Massachusetts Aircraft Tax Exemption.”

In Pennsylvania, which already exempts helicopters from sales taxes, the House has approved House Bill 1100 (HB 1100), which would extend the exemption to fixed-wing aircraft, parts and maintenance. A similar measure, Senate Bill 593 (SB 593), is now under consideration by the Senate Finance Committee. NBAA is working with legislators and Pennsylvania-based Members to urge committee members to hold a hearing on SB 593 or HB 1100 and recommends passage by the full Senate. Businesses have reported hiring additional employees as a direct result of the helicopter exemption. Read NBAA’s “Call to Action: Pennsylvania Aircraft Tax Exemption Requires Member Support.”

“Economic impact studies in states such as Massachusetts have proven that these exemptions generate jobs and significant investment in these states,” explained Dean Saucier, NBAA’s Northeast regional representative. “Based on the proven success of these exemptions, NBAA is committed to preserving or expanding them where possible.”

For more information about these legislative efforts, contact Saucier at (202) 737-4472 or