Washington State Decides Against Aircraft Tax
The Washington state legislature has passed a tax bill that dropped a proposed tax increase on aircraft, AOPA said in a news release on Wednesday. The proposed tax would have made the state's registration rates the highest in the nation, AOPA said. Existing fees would have gone up by as much as 1,400 percent, according to the National Business Aviation Association. Both AOPA and NBAA joined with other local and regional pilot groups to create a Washington Aviation Coalition that organized opposition to the state's plan. The coalition reached out to legislators to explain the impact the tax would have on general aviation. GA supports 178,375 jobs in the state, adding up to $140.8 million in wages, NBAA said. The bill has now been sent to the state governor for approval.
The partnership of the various groups appears to have been a powerful strategy. "We pooled our resources in the effort to defeat the aircraft excise tax," said Ryan Zulauf, chair of the coalition. "This is the first time we've ever done that, and it was really effective." Greg Pecoraro, AOPA's vice president for airports and state advocacy, said the personal efforts of local pilots "played a big role in giving the Senate pause and keeping the tax out of the final package." Debate over the issue continued until almost the end of a 30-day special session, AOPA said.