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Wisconsin Legislature Approves Aviation Tax Break

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Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature have passed legislation intended to save aircraft owners and operators money on maintenance and repairs while keeping aviation jobs in the state. The bill has gone to the governor for his signature; he is expected to sign. The legislation creates a state sales tax exemption for all parts and labor used in aircraft maintenance. Supporters say the tax cut would cost about $3 million a year in lost revenue, but it would generate more than twice that much in increased business for the aviation businesses, some of whom testified that in-state aircraft owners were flying their airplanes out of state for maintenance to avoid sales taxes. 

The bill is expected to benefit aircraft owners and aviation businesses of all sizes. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has a facility in Appleton and a Cessna Citation jet service center is located in Milwaukee. Their representatives as well as personnel from smaller facilities testified in support of the bill before the Ways and Means Committee in 2013. Those testifying included Wisconsin Aviation, a flight school, charter operator and maintenance shop with facilities in Watertown, Juneau and Madison; NewView Technologies, an aircraft maintenance shop; and Abe Weber, the manager of Outagamie County Regional Airport in Appleton. Weber represented the Wisconsin Airport Management Association.

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