Massachusetts May End Aircraft Tax Exemption
The Massachusetts House has voted to end a sales tax exemption for aircraft and parts but the State Senate is not similarly inclined. The House voted 87 to 67 against a budget amendment that would have preserved the exemption from the five percent tax that applies to almost everything else in Massachusetts. Cutting the exemption would add about $7 million a year to state coffers, assuming the same level of business activity was maintained, something opponents said wonít happen. Senate President Therese Murray, a Democrat from Plymouth, favors maintaining the exemption, saying eliminating it would push aircraft business to the neighboring states of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut that all exempt aircraft and parts from tax.
The House measure didnít pass without a fight, however. Rep. Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown) said reviving the tax, which was eliminated in 2002, would cost her local airports jobs. "Those airports aren't just about places for the wealthy to fly their small planes into," Peake said. "Those airports are about jobs. Those airports are about economic opportunity. Those airports are about filling the transportation needs of this commonwealth."