State Tax

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Member Advocacy Defeats Tax Increase in Massachusetts

June 3, 2011

Although Governor Deval Patrick's budget did not include a repeal of the sales tax exemption on aircraft, bill HO2493, introduced by Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord) would eliminate the valuable exemption. For most of the legislative session, it appeared that this bill would not progress, but the Joint Committee on Revenue agreed to consider the measure.

Under the proposal, sales of aircraft would be subject to the 6.25% sales tax. Aircraft sold to a certificated or licensed air carrier (i.e. Part 135 operator) and used in interstate or foreign commerce would retain their exempt status. However, any aircraft sold within Massachusetts to a Part 91 operator would be subject to the 6.25% sales tax.

Faced with a legislative proposal to eliminate the valuable sales tax exemption on aircraft in Massachusetts, NBAA Members took decisive action. Through a variety of outreach efforts, NBAA engaged Members in the debate and ensured that business aviation was well represented at a public hearing on the proposal. After momentum on the initial bill seemed to slow, an amendment was proposed as part of the state budget debate that would also have eliminated the tax exemption. Again, the aviation community in Massachusetts responded and the amendment was defeated.

The chair of the legislative Aviation Caucus in Massachusetts also came out in opposition of this bill. Review the letter.

NBAA Action

Since this of legislation was introduced, NBAA has been working directly with legislators and Massachusetts based Members to oppose repeal of the exemption. To date, NBAA has performed the following:

  • Coordinated with AOPA, the Massachusetts Airport Management Association (MAMA) and the Massachusetts Business Aviation Association (MBAA) to explain the value that business aviation provides to the state.
  • Provided data to legislators on the economic benefit that business aviation provides to Massachusetts.
  • Worked with Members to coordinate testimony at a Joint Committee on Revenue hearing.

Business Aviation in Massachusetts

Business and general aviation provide the following economic benefits to Massachusetts:

  • General aviation in Massachusetts provides nearly 10,000 jobs in the state.
  • General aviation contributes $641 per capita in annual economic contribution for a total of $4 billion.
  • There are 39 general aviation airports and 6 commercial airports serving 12,458 pilots and 4,300 general aviation aircraft.
  • Massachusetts is home to 22 charter flight companies, 58 repair stations, and 12 flight schools

For additional information, contact NBAA’s Operations Service Group at (202) 783-9250 or