As the above crudely designed map of Pennsylvania’s aviation activity, this Commonwealth is home to a lot of activity (all of those red dots) in this industry. The below AOPA article provides some insights as to why Pennsylvania has good “air” and why other states might try to attract such economic activity.
The Keystone State is one of a handful of Departments of Aviation which gets AIP funds directly from the FAA, adds its own contributing state revenues and then distributes those commingled dollars to its airports. Following the advice of AOPA, PA deleted a 6% tax which was assessed against the sale or use of fixed-wing aircraft parts and services in 2013. The theory was to retain and attract aircraft owners to use its state’s repair facilities.
Pennsylvania is home to more based aircraft than any surrounding state except New York. Prior to the change in the tax laws, the Commonwealth had only 2,900 workers at in-state repair facilities in comparison to New York’s 9,400 MRO jobs, and Ohio’s 8,300. Expectations are that the new tax provision will result in more repairs in the state and more high-paying jobs.
The Commonwealth’s Economic Development team is not relying on word-of-mouth to advertise this plus. It has created fact sheets, an online presentation, creating communications channels to build awareness of the benefits of the tax exemption and relationship-building with aircraft owners, pilots, the organizations that represent them, and the businesses at the state’s 131 airports. They anticipate that this stimulus should also result in secondary economic growth around these MRO hubs.
AOPA points out that, in response to the 2013 legislation, other nearby states have enacted similar exemptions to these taxes. Clearly a win/win for GA pilots in this region.
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