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Call to Action: Pennsylvania Aircraft Tax Exemption Requires Member Support
April 18, 2013
Legislators in Pennsylvania are now considering House Bill 1100 (HB 1100) and Senate Bill 593 (SB 593), which would both provide a sales tax exemption for fixed wing aircraft, parts and maintenance. The state already offers a sales tax exemption that applies to helicopters and businesses have reported hiring additional employees as a direct result of the helicopter exemption.
The House passed HB 1100 on April 15 and the Senate is now considering it alongside of SB 593. Last year the bill also passed the House but did not clear the Senate before the legislative session ended. With strong Member support, NBAA is hopeful that the exemption will pass the Senate this year.
The advocacy efforts of aircraft operators and companies doing business in Pennsylvania will be critical to moving these bills through the legislature. State Senators need to hear from local constituents about the positive economic benefits of this legislation. While NBAA is continuing to advocate for passage of the bills, when legislators hear directly from their own constituents in Pennsylvania the message is more powerful.
When contacting elected officials, Members are encouraged to explain that this legislation will actually generate additional tax revenue through an increase in fuel flowage fees, hangar leases, and business taxes which are the result of increased aviation business. Job creation in the aviation sector will also lead to increased employment tax collections. Finally, aviation employees will have discretionary income to spend which will support other sectors of the economy.
Since the inception of the rotor wing maintenance exemption in Pennsylvania, one company hired 412 employees and contributed in excess of $600,000 in personal income taxes. This does not include the increase in business tax revenues, personal sales tax revenues and other revenues as a result of increased employment and salaries.
States such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York have seen an increase in aviation activity and additional tax revenue after implementing similar exemptions. Massachusetts recently completed an economic impact study revealing that over 4,000 jobs and nearly $445 million in economic impact are tied to the state’s 30 general aviation airports.
Since this legislation was introduced, NBAA has been working directly with legislators and Pennsylvania based Members to build support for HB 1100 and SB 593. To date, NBAA has performed the following:
- Coordinated with bill sponsors to determine how NBAA Members can best support the bill.
- Provided data to legislators on the economic benefit that business aviation provides to Pennsylvania.
- Communicated directly with Pennsylvania Members to encourage that they contact their elected officials to support the legislation.
Business Aviation in Pennsylvania
Business and general aviation provide the following economic benefits to Pennsylvania:
- General aviation airports contribute over $1.31 billion to the state’s economy.
- Aviation in Pennsylvania is responsible for 288,700 jobs, or five percent of all jobs in the state. General aviation airports support over 7,000 of those jobs.
- Pennsylvania has 129 public use airports, 116 of which are general aviation airports, serving 17,049 pilots and 8,162 general aviation aircraft.