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AOPA enourages members to fight Washington aircraft tax proposal

February 21, 2011, 05:29 pm

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is encouraging its members to fight against a bill proposed in Washington State's House of Representatives that would apply an excise tax on aircraft ownership, the group announced.

The bill, which the group says is similar to one that was defeated last year, would impose an annual 0.5 percent levy on the "privilege" of using an aircraft within the state. The bail claims that the revenues from the tax would be used to fund the state health care bill.

Washington also argues that the bill is being used to end tax preferences that aviators within the state are eligible for. However, some opponents disagree that these preferences exist.

"This bill description is certainly a mischaracterization as it applies to the new aircraft tax provision, because there are no real existing tax exemptions or 'preferences' for GA aircraft based in the state and the current cumulative tax liability to own, maintain, and operate an aircraft in Washington is already among the highest in the nation," said AOPA director of state government affairs Mark Kimberling.

Adding an excise tax to flight ownership in the state may inhibit some Washington pilots from contributing funds elsewhere, including pilot insurance policies, which are essential to protect pilot's families if they are involved in a fatal crash.  

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