April 15, 2010

By a vote of 25–21, the Washington State Senate again signaled its opposition to an onerous tax increase proposal for aircraft owners in the state, passing an annual spending package without including the tax measure.

Final approval for the spending bill came near the end of a special legislative session called by Governor Chris Gregoire after the legislature’s regular session expired at the end of March.

The welcome news followed a weeks-long advocacy campaign in which NBAA and its Members worked as part of a unified grassroots coalition known as the Washington Aviation Coalition (WAC), which included the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association, Members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Washington Pilots Association and others.

The tax proposal opposed by the coalition was offered by state lawmakers as a means to address a shortfall in annual revenues to fund state programs. Facing a budget deficit, legislators had alternately proposed either a 0.5-percent tax on all aircraft (raising the existing aircraft registration fee by as much as 1,400 percent), or an equally onerous taxation method based on a complicated chart of aircraft types and manufacture dates.

In opposing either provision, the coalition presented a unified message based on a central fact General aviation, including business aviation, is a major economic driver in the State of Washington, supporting 178,375 jobs and producing $140,774,869 in wages. Either of the tax-hike proposals would likely decrease tax revenues and drive business out of the state.

Review the Complete Press Release

Additional Resources

Throughout the advocacy campaign, NBAA provided Members with the latest information through podcasts, articles and call to action emails. Review the history of the campaign:

News Articles

February 15, 2010: Grassroots Action Key in Opposing WA State Tax Proposal

February 26, 2010: WA Excise Tax Issue Nears Critical Juncture

March 2, 2010: More Troubling Developments in the WA State Aircraft Tax Battle

March 10, 2010: WA State Aircraft Tax Update

March 18, 2010: Vote Looms on WA State Aircraft Tax Hike

March 22, 2010: Excise Tax Removed, But New Proposal ‘Can’t Be Called An Improvement’

March 29, 2010: Washington State Aircraft Tax Still Unsettled

For additional information, contact NBAA’s Operations Service Group at (202) 783-9250 or info@nbaa.org.