FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Bill Kortz
Kortz: House passes bill to boost aviation industry in Pa.
HARRISBURG, May 22 – State Rep. Bill Kortz, D- Allegheny, said the state House passed legislation today that would grow the aviation industry in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 1100 would eliminate the sales and use tax on fixed-wing aircraft sales, parts, maintenance and repair in Pennsylvania, allowing the state to create jobs while it gains a stronger foothold in the aviation and aeronautics industry.
"This bill will allow Pennsylvania to compete with neighboring states that have already passed similar legislation, and it will create jobs in our state," Kortz said. "I am proud to co-sponsor and vote in favor of House Bill 1100."
According to Kortz, when a similar measure was passed for helicopters, a company in West Chester added 412 jobs. Because of that, Pennsylvania collects six times more revenue in personal income and local wage taxes, as it was through the sales and use tax. If Pennsylvania can catch up to Ohio in terms of employment, the return to the General Fund could be $8.2 million.
Neighboring and regional states that have already enacted this legislation include New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine.
Pennsylvania is the only northeastern state not to enact some form of meaningful tax reform on fixed-wing aviation. The SUT puts the commonwealth at a distinct disadvantage over states like New York and Ohio. The industry employs about 9,400 people in New York and 8,300 in Ohio, to Pennsylvania’s 2,900.
"Pennsylvania is strategically poised to capitalize on this growing market because of our geography and the 130 airports that dot our state," Kortz said. "We are positioned to make an impact and take advantage of this expanding market. Pennsylvania plane owners will be more likely to repair and have maintenance performed here in Pennsylvania instead of taking their aircraft out of state."
"House Bill 1100 is simply a tax shift bill that is about jobs – specifically aviation mechanics – that will grow and thrive under this legislation. A sad fact is that we have one of the top-notch aviation schools right here in Pennsylvania – Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, PIA – and only 5 percent of the resident students remain in this state in the aviation field. House Bill 1100 will change this dynamic."
The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.