Support Growing To Change Florida's Onerous GA Tax

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Just in time for spring and cross-country flying plans, the state of Florida has made some progress in getting rid of its aviation-unfriendly user tax, AOPA said recently. Current law allows the state to levy a sales tax of up to 6 percent of the purchase price on out-of-state airplanes that land in Florida, if they were bought within the last six months. The law requires the owner to pay the difference between any out-of-state tax and the 6-percent Florida tax. Bills now gaining support in the state legislature would cut the tax to 3 percent, and would exempt pilots who stay in the state less than three weeks, AOPA said.

"Passing this exemption could transform the message Florida is sending to the aviation community," said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of airports and state advocacy. "Now, pilots who might otherwise come to Florida for maintenance, business, and tourism are avoiding the state altogether. Removing the threat of a hefty tax on visitors will welcome pilots -- and revenue -- back into the state." AOPA representatives have testified before the legislature to communicate how the use tax deprives the state of revenue and economic activity. An attempt last year to change the law passed the House but stalled in the Senate, but this year's effort seems to be gaining momentum, AOPA said.