EAA Joins in Call for Moratorium on Florida Aircraft Tax
March 25, 2008 — EAA is joining the aviation community call to the State of Florida to put a moratorium on collecting the state's use tax on aircraft sales until the law can be clarified.
In a letter to Florida Governor Charlie Crist, EAA President Tom Poberezny notes that there is uncertainty for aircraft owners over the issue. The Florida Department of Revenue recently has been collecting the six-percent tax on any airplane - including those from out-of-state - that has been purchased in the past six months and is flown to Florida for any of a variety of purposes.
"Although Florida-based aviation entities such as the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In have received state assurances that Florida does not plan collection action at those events, there are other reports of aviators receiving large tax bills after a brief flight into the state with a newly-purchased airplane," Poberezny said. "This has created so much confusion on the issue that a moratorium would be the best path for the state to follow at this time. Florida revenue officials have admitted that the law is ambiguous for aircraft, so it does not make sense to enforce a law that could put visitors to the state in such an uncertain situation."
EAA members in Florida and other states have also been working on the matter, urging that state lawmakers clarify the current law. There are bills in both houses of the Florida legislature to address the situation, but those bills are currently in committee and face an uncertain legislative timeline for final action.
General aviation attracts millions of visitors to Florida each year and accounts for more than $2.3 billion in revenue, according to state figures. Florida is also home to numerous aviation events, such as the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, Sun 'n Fun Fly-In and a large number of EAA chapter fly-ins and activities.