Florida Could Gain Jobs, Revenue Through Elimination of Sales Tax on Aircraft

Nov. 30, 2015

Florida could gain almost 300 high-paying jobs and millions of dollars in economic growth by reducing or eliminating the sales tax on aircraft, according to a new study commissioned by the Florida Aviation Business Association (FABA).

The study estimates elimination of the sales tax would result in the sale of 354 additional aircraft worth a total of $246 million each year.

Florida is among 15 states that tax the sale of airplanes and rotorcraft at the rate of 6 percent. “One result is a loss of aircraft sales in Florida when compared to other states,” said NBAA’s Senior Manager of Finance and Tax Policy Scott O’Brien. That assertion is backed by the Fishkind study, which indicates Florida brokers and dealers lose an average of 164 transactions each year as a direct result of the state’s aircraft sales tax.

“That’s also a problem for operators based in Florida,” said FABA Executive Director Jenny Showalter. Florida law states any aircraft purchased within the past six months can be assessed the six-percent tax if it is based in the state for more than 21 days.

ABA believes that unfairly penalizes Florida companies for doing business here at home,” she said.

FABA, the South Florida Business Aviation Association and several other aviation advocates last year attempted to convince state lawmakers that the aircraft sales tax is hurting Florida’s economy. While that effort failed, it ultimately led to the establishment of the Florida Legislature General Aviation Caucus. Co-sponsored by state Rep. Charles Van Zant and state Sen. Thad Altman, the caucus held its first meeting Oct. 22. Read more about the first Florida caucus meeting.

“We’re hoping to have a second GA Caucus meeting in January where we’ll again communicate the importance of this issue,” said NBAA Southeastern Regional Representative Greg Voos. “Hopefully the sales tax exemption legislation will again be introduced in the 2016 session of the Florida Legislature.”

New York enacted its aviation sales tax exemption Sept.1, 2015 after it was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last April. That exemption applies to all general aviation aircraft without regard to size or capacity.

Showalter noted the number of aviation operators with interests in both New York and Florida. “The fact that New York has decided to eliminate the sales tax on aircraft is going to have a very large effect on the number of aircraft sold in the state of Florida,” she said.

Florida is third in the United States when it comes to the impact of total economic impact and jobs generated by the aviation industry, and the state is home to more than 200 aviation-manufacturing companies. The caucus estimates the economic impact of general aviation on the Florida economy at $7.7 billion a year.

View the full economic impact study. (PDF)


House and Senate legislative committees have begun preparations for the 2016 legislative session that begins on January 12, 2016. FAC, Board Members and members of the State Affairs Committee are communicating with legislators and staffers to monitor the activities of the House and Senate, and are meeting with leaders to address the importance of airports and aviation to the state’s economy.

The State Summit brings together FAC members and state legislative leaders to discuss issues of importance to the Council. The agenda includes opportunities to network and connect with FAC members and staff, a legislative briefing from key state leaders, a general membership meeting, and time for attendees to visit individual members and local delegations.


  • State Funding for Airport Development Grant Program - FAC supports state funding for airport development that is no less than that which is proposed by FDOT in the Tentative Work Plan for 2015/16.
  • Aviation Fuel Taxes - FAC opposes any attempts to waive, reduce, or suspend aviation fuel taxes on a statewide or local basis. The aviation fuel tax serves as a fiscal resource to fund, in part, infrastructure facilitating the movement of passengers and cargo at Florida’s airports.
  •   Updates of Chapters 332 and 333 F.S. - FAC supports the FDOT’s rewrite of Chapter 333 F.S. pertaining to land use around airports as recommended by FDOT. Also, FAC supports an increase in the state’s maximum term of airport aeronautical leases from 30-years to 50-years, as found in Chapter 332 F.S.

  •   Ride Share Services - Florida’s airports must preserve their ability to regulate and charge commercial operators operating on airport property and to maintain compliance with FAA grant assurances.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016DoubleTree Hotel

6:30 p.m.8:00 p.m.            Summit Reception sponsored by FAC

Thursday, January 14, 2016DoubleTree Hotel

7:00 a.m.9:00 a.m.            Breakfast and Legislative Briefings

9:00 a.m.10:00 a.m.          FAC General Membership Meeting

10:00 a.m.                              Summit attendees meet with individual state leaders and local legislative delegations 

2:00 p.m.                                 FAC Board of Directors Meeting

5:30 p.m.                                 Summit Reception sponsored by the Corporate Committee

Friday, January 15, 2016FDOT Auditorium

8:00 a.m.8:30 a.m.               Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.10:00 a.m.             Educational SeminarACRP Report 141, Renewable Energy as an Airport Revenue Source

10:00 a.m - 11:30 a.m.            Agency UpdateFDOT and FAA (Invited) 


Unlock your potential... connect and inspire at SDC2016!

Navigate your way to vibrant Tampa, FL for the 2016 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2016) from January 19–22, 2016 at the Tampa Convention Center. The SDC2016 agenda has been developed to help you discover your potential and help pave the way for growth as business aviation professionals.

At it’s core, SDC 2016 is the premier professional development event for anyone with responsibility for scheduling and/or dispatching business aircraft. Elevate your career with top-level education sessions from the industry’s greatest and brightest while also getting business done for the year ahead. With countless opportunities to network and connect with over 450 exhibitors, you don’t want to miss SDC2016.

EVENT DATE  Jan. 28, 2016


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