Florida Senate Passes Use Tax-Exemption Bill

The Florida State Senate passed House Bill 173 on April 30, 2010, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming weeks. The bill exempts out-of-state aircraft from the state's use tax. Non-resident aircraft owners may fly into Florida and remain for up to 21 days during the first six months of ownership; however, if an aircraft remains in Florida exclusively for the purpose of flight training, repairs, alternations, refitting or modification, there is no time constraint during the first six months.

Under the existing tax, out-of-state aircraft owners could be subjected to a use tax of up to six percent of the total value of the aircraft, just for visiting the state within six months of purchasing an aircraft. This much-needed tax correction will provide significant relief for aviation businesses that had been suffering from lost business and revenue as a result of this detrimental tax practice.

The Florida Aviation Trades Association (FATA) and other aviation industry advocates have been working with legislators over the past three years to make changes to the current statute that has been keeping tourist and business dollars out of Florida. FATA Executive Director Paula Raeburn stated, "Our members pooled their resources to reach out to their state Senators and Representatives to explain the importance of passing the bill."

The new tax exemption will begin on July 1, 2010, should the bill be signed into law.

Yesterday's NATA News story on Florida's State Senate approving a new law that exempts out-of-state aircraft from the state's use tax with Governor Crist signing the bill into law was inaccurate. Governor Crist has yet to sign the bill into law but is expected to shortly.