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Maine May Extend Sales Tax Exemption for Aircraft


 The Bangor Maine Airport Has Benefitted from the Sales Tax Exemption.

In 2011, Maine lawmakers approved a temporary sales and use tax exemption for aircraft and aircraft parts. That exemption is scheduled to expire in 2015, much to the dismay of the state's aviation industry. A bill currently under consideration by the Joint Taxation Committee would make that exemption permanent.

But Senator Andre Cushing (R-Hampden), who sponsored the bill, says that before the exemption, the 5% sales tax "blackballed Maine among the aviation community."

Certainly, LD 279 has the strong support of members of the aviation industry:

  • Mark Goodwin, vice president of Northeast Air, testified that the exemption brought his business more than $700,000 worth of work. That work translates to new jobs.
  • Jon Block, lobbyist for C&L Aerospace in Bangor, testified that his business has greatly expanded since it opened in 2010. It's grown from 20 employees to 100, and is expected to hire 70 more people.

But do the jobs compensate for the lost sales and use tax revenue? The Legislature's Office of Fiscal and Program Review points out that the state loses approximately $608,000 annually to the exemption. (Kennebec Journal).

How does your business handle sales tax exemption certificates?

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.