Jan. 25, 2022

A coalition of leading aviation advocates, including NBAA is championing new legislation being considered by Florida’s Senate and House of Representatives that would generate new jobs and economic opportunities for the state by eliminating its 6% sales and use tax on aircraft.

“If Florida eliminated the sales and use tax for aircraft … aircraft owners would be incentivized to spend more time in Florida, base aircraft in the state or visit more frequently without fearing a significant sales or use tax burden,” the coalition of industry associations said in a letter to Florida lawmakers Sen. Kelli Stargel, chair of the Florida Senate Committee on Appropriations, and Rep. Bobby Payne, chair for the Florida House Ways and Means Committee.

“This legislation will grow the general aviation industry, which supports nearly 95,000 jobs and $8.9 billion to the Florida economy,” the coalition continued, adding that the state’s 129 public-use airports, which employ more than 393,000 Floridians and generate a payroll of $22 billion, will also benefit from the end of the sales and use tax.

Read the coalition’s letter to Florida’s legislators (PDF)

Florida is home to two major aircraft manufacturers, Embraer Aircraft Holding and Piper Aircraft. However, their customers often elect to take delivery of aircraft in states with more competitive tax policies or utilize Florida’s 10-day “fly-away” exemption, which allows buyers to remove the aircraft without sales tax. The coalition warned this costs the state tourism dollars and economic activity.

“A more competitive sales tax environment would certainly attract more of our customers to consider taking delivery of their aircraft at our facility in Melbourne, and spending more time in Florida, rather than in neighboring states,” said Mark Schramek, vice president, government relations at Embraer Aircraft Holding.
Use tax, which is complementary to sales tax, can also depress general aviation activity in a state as owners look to more welcoming locations to base their aircraft or plan extended stays.

“Florida is a recognized leader in general aviation, and passage of this exemption would build on the state’s success while generating jobs and economic activity,” said Daniel Lubowitz, director of state government affairs at Bombardier, which is investing in a new aircraft service center under construction at Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport (OPF).

The benefits of eliminating sales and use taxes on aircraft are proven. The elimination of the sales-and- use tax on aircraft in New York in 2015 has attracted new aircraft to the state, significant investments at general aviation airports and new jobs.

“Thank you for considering Senate Bill 786 and House Bill 6051, which will make Florida a leading state for general aviation and airports,” the coalition said in its letter to lawmakers. “Your support of this legislation will generate new aviation jobs and economic activity as our industry embarks on new developments, including advanced air mobility and electric aviation.”