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Protest calls out tax loopholes for private luxury aircraft
December 4, 2011
Concord & Lincoln MA
The protesters that are regularly seen outside of Hanscom Field Airport have recently called attention to a Massachusetts tax policy that rewards owners of private luxury aircraft at the expense of ordinary citizens.
A Massachusetts tax loophole exempts private luxury aircraft from sales tax, including exemptions for aircraft purchase and luxury upgrades such a exotic wood and leather interiors for private jets.
“While average citizens pay taxes on their cars, appliances, automobile repairs, furniture, cell phone service, restaurant meals, etc., Massachusetts state law allows a controversial exemption for the purchase of luxury private aircraft, their parts, and their storage.” according to Andy Friedlich, Lexington representative to the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission.
The law, passed by the legislature in 2001, was widely celebrated by aviation lobbing groups at the time, who claimed it was necessary to allow Massachusetts to compete for aviation traffic with neighboring states. A white paper by Save Our Heritage provides more information on this tax loophole.
"There are many parts of the economy such as retail that might benefit from a sales tax break; how does it make sense to give a lucrative tax break to a tiny fraction of the population that really does not need a tax break?" asks Neil Rasmussen, president of Save Our Heritage. "We find that people whose beliefs range from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street almost universally agree that exemptions like this are an abuse of our system and the kind of practice that needs to be stopped."
"Should the taxpayers subsidize private luxury aircraft, when we know that flying in private jets is just about the most environmentally destructive activity a citizen can engage in without being arrested?"