South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley recently signed FAA Part 91 that will exempt owner-operator aircraft parts from the state's 7 percent sales tax.
“Because aircraft are mobile, owners can easily shop around to different states in search of the best deal for maintenance and repair,” Steve Townes, chairman of the aerospace industry cluster at the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, said. “Removing the Part 91 tax levels the playing field so that South Carolina’s aviation companies can compete with companies in tax-exempt states such as Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.”
Paul Witt, executive vice president of Stevens Aviation, said the Part 91 tax put the state at a competitive disadvantage, noting a very short flight to Augusta, Georgia, could save a customer 7 percent on maintenance.
“The Aerospace Task Force’s Strategic Plan identified the Part 91 tax as an obstacle to growth of South Carolina’s aerospace industry,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said. “South Carolina is a leading state for global business recruitment, and the Part 91 exemption will only bolster our ability to compete on the global stage. I would like to thank the governor and the legislature for responding to the needs of industry and their continued efforts to keep South Carolina 'just right' for business.”
Don Purcell, president of the South Carolina Aviation Association, said the state was only collecting about $500,000 in Part 91 tax revenue, and that at least two opportunities totaling $1.8 million were lost by South Carolina because of the tax.