Maine May Repeal Aircraft Use Tax
January 20, 2011 — If you are a non-resident aircraft owner and never paid sales tax on the purchase of your aircraft, you could be subject to a hefty tax bill if you fly it to Maine. Several years of negative publicity and the emergence of a new aircraft manufacturer in the state have pushed two senators to submit separate bills to the Maine state legislature to seek repeal the tax for aircraft weighing less than 6,000 pounds. Currently, visiting aircraft that remain longer than 20 days in the state can be charged up to 5 percent of the aircraft’s value.
The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA), which is in charge of retasking a recently decommissioned Naval Air Station to civilian use, is trying to attract aircraft manufacturers and maintenance companies. Steve Levesque, executive director of MRRA, told the Times Record the current tax law is an “impediment to aviation” since Maine is the only state that still has this type of tax law.
Kestrel Aircraft, which launched a $300 million, 100 employee operation at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station site, often lands its corporate aircraft in New Hampshire and drives to the facility. Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick, said that despite the state’s budget shortfalls, he feels they can write a tax bill that will encourage both aviation-related businesses and vacationers to bring their planes to Maine.