Oct. 24, 2016

NBAA, the Florida Aviation Business Association (FABA) and other stakeholders continue to advocate for legislation that would exempt aircraft sales and leases from the state’s 6 percent sales tax.

“Sales tax reform is an important step to making Florida more competitive with neighboring states and supporting its thriving general aviation industry, which includes leaders such as Embraer and Piper,” said NBAA’s Senior Manager of Finance and Tax Policy Scott O’Brien. “Exempting aircraft transactions from sales and use tax has had a positive economic impact in other states, including increased consumer spending and new high-paying jobs.”

According to a recent economic impact study commissioned by FABA, Florida could gain almost 300 high-paying jobs and millions of dollars of economic growth by reducing or eliminating the sales tax on aircraft. Not only does the sales tax apply to aircraft sales at closing, but also to any aircraft purchased within the past six months if it is based in the state for more than 21 days.

Jenny Showalter, executive director of FABA, pointed to New York as an important example of a state that exempts all general aviation aircraft from sales and use tax. Many operators have interests in both Florida and New York, and since New York exempted aircraft from sales tax in 2015, the advantages to completing a transaction and basing an aircraft in New York instead of Florida are significant.

Showalter said the current political climate in Florida poses new challenges to aviation tax reform. One of the proposed legislation’s previous co-sponsors reached his term limit, and the other is running for a different office.

In the meantime, advocates of sales tax reform have been meeting with officials and aviation businesses state-wide. “We’re using this campaign cycle as an opportunity to educate and inform candidates so we can secure co-sponsors quickly after the election,” said Showalter.

A coalition of business aviation representatives, including Embraer, Piper and NBAA, recently met with officials from the governor’s office and other state officials to explain the benefits of the proposed legislation and encourage their support.

Florida-based NBAA members are encouraged to talk with their state legislators about the proposed sales tax reform and request their participation at the next GA Caucus meeting, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 22.

“NBAA will continue to work closely with FABA and others to secure new sponsors in the next legislative session and educate newly elected legislators on how aviation tax reform will diversify the Florida economy and support the aviation manufacturing sector,” said O’Brien.

Learn more about how aviation tax reform can help Florida. (PDF)