EAA, AOPA Seek Moratorium On Florida "Use Tax"

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It seems that Maine is not the only state eager to slap visiting pilots with a "use tax" on their aircraft. Florida also has such a law on the books, and has used it in the past to collect thousands of dollars from aircraft owners. With Sun 'n Fun coming up next month, the show organizers have obtained assurances from state officials that visiting pilots will not be harassed. But to be sure there is no confusion, EAA and AOPA have asked the state to impose a moratorium on collecting the tax until the law can be clarified. "Florida revenue officials have admitted that the law is ambiguous for aircraft," says EAA President Tom Poberezny in a letter to Florida Governor Charlie Crist. "So it does not make sense to enforce a law that could put visitors to the state in such an uncertain situation." The 6-percent "use tax" can be assessed if an aircraft is less than six months old when flown into the state and the owner did not pay at least a 6 percent sales tax on it elsewhere.

There are bills pending in both houses of the Florida legislature to address the situation, EAA says, but those bills are currently in committee and face an uncertain legislative timeline for final action.