June 4, 2015

South Carolina has taken an important step in attracting business aviation activity to the state, with passage of a sales tax exemption on parts and supplies used in repairing or reconditioning aircraft. Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

NBAA, the South Carolina Aviation Association (SCAA), the Carolina Aviation Professionals Association (CAPA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) worked together to educate and inform South Carolina legislators about the importance of the exemption to the state’s general aviation industry.

“We commend the South Carolina legislature and Rep. Gary Smith for their efforts to pass this bill, which is sound tax policy and will lead to increased aircraft repair business for South Carolina,” said Scott O’Brien, NBAA’s senior manager of finance and tax policy. “With 37 FAA-certified repair stations already in the state, and more 2,500 active general aviation aircraft based in South Carolina, this exemption will be a boost to the state economy and will result in the creation of high-paying jobs.”

In a May letter sent to every South Carolina senator on the Committee on Finance, NBAA noted that the lack of a sales tax exemption on parts and supplies for general aviation aircraft maintenance made South Carolina less competitive than surrounding states, such as Arkansas, Georgia and Ohio, which already have such statutes in place.

Current South Carolina law restricted the exemption to only parts and supplies used in the repair of government or commercial aircraft. “This causes [GA] aircraft owners to look outside the state for repair services,” NBAA explained in its letter, strongly encouraging passage of the tax exemption to include general aviation aircraft.

Greg Voos, NBAA’s Southeast regional representative, said that NBAA had worked closely with the other aviation groups since early this year in voicing strong support for [HB 3568].

“The collaboration between NBAA, SCAA, CAPA and AOPA resulted in a positive outcome for all general aviation interests in the state of South Carolina,” said Voos. “The extension of the parts and supplies sales tax exemption to include general aviation will benefit the many aviation businesses and aircraft owners in the state.”

Voos noted that general aviation contributed $2 billion in economic output in South Carolina in 2013, with 13,600 jobs created either directly or indirectly by the state’s general aviation industry.