March 21, 2014 - The Wisconsin legislature on Thursday, March 20, passed EAA-backed legislation that will exempt aircraft parts, service, and labor from sales taxes.
Five of Wisconsin's surrounding states had already passed similar legislation, and local maintenance facilities and FBOs were feeling competitive pressure from out of state businesses looking to capitalize on their tax advantage.
"EAA supported this legislation because it protects the local infrastructure of maintenance facilities for the Wisconsin aviation community," said Jonathan Harger, EAA government advocacy specialist. "When other states are only a 45 minute flight away and pilots could save $1,000 on a $20,000 engine overhaul, going out of state becomes an easy decision for many GA pilots. Unfortunately, local maintenance and avionics facilities cannot remain in business if their big-ticket repairs are being flown out of state and they are left repairing tires and light bulbs.
"This legislation was a great win-win for the aviation community," Harger added. The repair stations, most of which are small businesses, will once again be regionally competitive and retain jobs, and aircraft owners get the benefit of local and competitive repair stations."
EAA provided testimony in support of the legislation and was joined by a coalition of airport managers, FBOs, aircraft manufacturers, maintenance shop owners, and other aviation associations.