New law exempts Florida FBOs from tax

General aviation advocates are hailing the passage of new legislation that will benefit not only aviation businesses in Florida, but general aviation aircraft owners. Language in a new economic development bill includes sales-tax exemptions for repairs and equipment on aircraft that weigh 2,000 pounds or more. The previous exemption was for aircraft that weighed 15,000 pounds.

GA alphabet groups, including the Florida Aviation Trades Association (FATA), the Florida Airports Council (FAC), and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) worked together to lobby elected officials.

“The passage of HB7087 marks a huge victory for both FATA and the aviation industry that is so vital to Florida’s economy,” said FATA President Sandy Showalter. “I can speak firsthand to the effect that the FBO intangible tax exemption will have — the state had already given my family’s FBO our tax bill and paying it would have wiped out some hardscrabble savings cobbled together during these last few very lean years. This exemption gives us the confidence to fill two open positions that we have been doing without for several months, and that is no hyperbole.

“The sales tax exemption for maintenance on aircraft over 2,000 pounds puts Florida on equal footing with nearby states, thus making our shops more competitive,” he continued. “Today is truly a great day and I couldn’t be more thankful for the help of Eric Prutsman, FATA’s very able lobbyist, and for the assistance of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.”

Lighter single and multi-engine aircraft make up the majority of the aircraft undergoing maintenance in Florida, giving the bill a far-reaching and beneficial potential economic impact, said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs.

AOPA worked with FATA, and Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, which has a business jet plant and its North American headquarters in Florida, to help HB 7087 move through the legislative process. “This bill passage marks a great day for general aviation in Florida,” said Kimberling.

AOPA credited Sen. Michael Bennett (R-District 21) for his work championing the legislation in the Senate. “The passage of this important legislation will now allow Florida’s numerous world-class maintenance and repair stations to better compete in attracting and retaining business, thereby protecting and creating countless family-sustaining jobs in this vital industry,” he said.


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  1. Ben Sclair says

    Sales Tax Exemption Details

    In response to clarification of the newly passed legislation, below is the new statute and effective date.

    “Aircraft repair
    and maintenance labor charges.—There shall be exempt from the tax
    imposed by this chapter all labor charges for the repair and maintenance
    of qualified aircraft, aircraft of more than 2,000 pounds maximum
    certified  takeoff weight, and rotary wing aircraft of more than 10,000
     pounds maximum certified takeoff weight. ”

    Effective date:  July 1, 2012.

  2. Frances says

    They need to get their story straight. This amendment  has not passed, it hasn’t even made it to the governor’s desk. Being in a maintenance facility, now we are putting out the fires that this article has caused. Aircraft owners are demanding their taxes for repairs be credited the tax that we are required to charge them. 

  3. john says

    another tax break, just what everybody needs, soon nobody will want to pay any taxes, with no taxes this country shuts down, again all special interest groups think they are deserving of special treatment, hogwash…………. 

  4. airmech says

    This puts Florida shops in a comparable position as the states around us. The taxes won’t keep someone from having the small work done here but it will cause operators to take bigger jobs somewhere else. This means jobs in Florida aviation maintenance shops will be at least a bit more secure. This does help small aircraft operators in the state. Previously, anything over 15,000# was exempt. Now most all small aircraft operators can have the same benefit. 

    Helping just the 1%?? Their jobs aren’t the ones being helped by this. Its the mechanics, parts room workers, etc that will still have their jobs that are being helped by this. Think about it.

  5. dnichl says

    sales-tax exemptions for repairs and equipment on aircraft that weigh 2,000 pounds or more. The previous exemption was for aircraft that weighed 15,000 pounds.Just another tax dodge for the !%.Sliding the weight back to 2000lbs doesn’t do much for most of GA but it sounds good.Who gets to make up for the tax cut? you do the 172,Swift Navion,and ……drivers do …

  6. Dalber says

    UNDER 2000 LBS. ????? I wonder if anyone looked at the precentages of the aircraft over compared to under that limit. Its nice for the people with the money but still not fair to the weekend flyer with small aircraft.

    The State of Florida has been slamming business for sales taxes. Most people do not understand that whether a product is bought or sold here or anywhere else, either a sales tax or users tax must be paid. If you didnt pay it where you bought it you better pay Florida.

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