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State Of Maine: Unfair Tax On Private Aircraft  
User currently offlineKPWMSpotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 432 posts, RR: 2
Posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2226 times:

The media up here in Maine has recently been publishing a number of articles about new revenue boosting taxes, but this one seems absolutely absurd.
Apparently the State of Maine is attempting to impose a sales tax on aircraft that were purchased in other states that do not impose a sales tax of their own.
Aircraft that spend more than 20 days in the state may be billed 5% of their purchase value, regardless of whether or not the aircraft was purchased by a Maine resident or is based in the state. The tax exempts large commercial aircraft, focusing on light piston aircraft.

A brief internet search turned up a few articles from the AOPA as well as various media outlets. With all the coverage, I can't seem to find any positive argument...just a lot of angry pilots, and fingers being pointed at the "penny pinching government."

http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/articles/2007/071213maine.html
http://www.boston.com/news/local/art...ers_stunned_by_out_of_state_taxes/

Opinions?


I reject your reality and substitute my own...
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21472 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2186 times:

states do this with cars all the time, but it usually requires much longer than 20 days. and after a certain amount of time since purchase, you won't have to pay a tax, but some states require a one time registration fee based on the current value of the car.

so I can see this being constitutional, but only if it's reasonable. 20 days seems unreasonable, so there might be some interstate commerce problems here...

I mean, if you visit Maine for more than 20 days, are you a resident? Hardly...



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6343 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2172 times:

Maybe they're trying to make up for the revenue lost to private owners incorporating sham companies in the state of Delaware for the express purpose of operating their airplane (in the state of Maine)?

I'm an AOPA member myself (not an aircraft owner, however), and 100% behind GA, but I'm also not behind the various schemes that I've seen fellow members engage in (including the Delaware corporation) to circumvent state laws on aircraft ownership and/or taxation. Call up your state Senator if the taxes are excessive, and get AOPA behind you. When you start dodging taxes from behind a sham company, you are putting yourself in a real gray area...

I'll also add to that that any state that seeks significant revenue from the taxation of private aircraft owners is barking up the wrong tree. Sure, there's a few nice million-dollar plus toys out there, but the vast majority of privately owned planes aren't nearly that expensive, and the GA fleet is *TINY* and not really growing much larger...not to mention that most private pilots aren't the rich playboys (and girls) that certain politicians (and even some members of a.net) like to portray us as. Start excessively taxing our hobby, we'll stop flying  Sad



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1874 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2161 times:
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Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
I'll also add to that that any state that seeks significant revenue from the taxation of private aircraft owners is barking up the wrong tree. Sure, there's a few nice million-dollar plus toys out there, but the vast majority of privately owned planes aren't nearly that expensive, and the GA fleet is *TINY* and not really growing much larger...not to mention that most private pilots aren't the rich playboys (and girls) that certain politicians (and even some members of a.net) like to portray us as. Start excessively taxing our hobby, we'll stop flying Sad

Programs like this are both politically popular and serve as a job program for someone. Lets face it - the "poor workers" hate the bourgeoisie and their toys. To tax these "luxurious" items looks great to the poor working slob, as if the politicians are fighting for them. Oh and someone has to keep track of all these airplanes for the state, so they hire some employees. I would not be surprised if the salaries of the government employees hired to track the airplanes is equal to or even surpasses the additional tax revenue collected!



Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26361 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2154 times:



Quoting KPWMSpotter (Thread starter):

A brief internet search turned up a few articles from the AOPA

The AOPA is going to be the worst source. They still pretend that lawsuits drive the price of GA aircraft.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
20 days seems unreasonable, so there might be some interstate commerce problems here...

Not really interstate commerce, but more the Fundamental Right to Travel. There is going to be some person who travels to Maine that gets tagged with a fat 5% bill that takes this to court and wins.

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
Maybe they're trying to make up for the revenue lost to private owners incorporating sham companies in the state of Delaware for the express purpose of operating their airplane (in the state of Maine)?

The interesting thing here is that they appear to be targeting not Delaware corporations, but people who are buying their aircraft in states that don't charge sales tax, which most likely means Maine is targeting purchases in New Hampshire.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineKPWMSpotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 432 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2080 times:



Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
most likely means Maine is targeting purchases in New Hampshire.

That makes total sense actually. Maine residents are known to hop the border for plenty of tax free items (namely fireworks and liquor) so I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few well to do summer home owners that do the same.

I knew that the AOPA would surely be providing a biased view on the matter, and I'm sure that there were some mistakes made in the system (the New Mexico resident who got a 6 figure bill for example) but at least I'm seeing where the Maine legislature came from with the idea...trying to work a little bit more money out of the low-revenue tourists that flood the state every season.



I reject your reality and substitute my own...
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26361 posts, RR: 76
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2054 times:



Quoting KPWMSpotter (Reply 5):
and I'm sure that there were some mistakes made in the system (the New Mexico resident who got a 6 figure bill for example) but at least I'm seeing where the Maine legislature came from with the idea...trying to work a little bit more money out of the low-revenue tourists that flood the state every season.

Honestly, the legislature should change this to only include true residents (50% +1 day) of Maine if they want it to hold up.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
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