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Eye On Boise

Bill would make aircraft parts tax break permanent; backers say it’s worked as promised

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, brought legislation to the House Rev & Tax Committee today to make permanent a five-year tax break lawmakers enacted in 2012 for Idaho aircraft repair businesses, a measure originally enacted at the behest of the late Rep. Frank  Henderson, R-Post Falls. “It’s created a lot of jobs,” Moyle said. Rev & Tax Chairman Gary Collins, R-Nampa, said, “They’ve done everything they said they were going to do, plus more.”

When the tax break passed in 2012, it was the first time in four years a sales tax break had cleared the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee. Henderson told the panel the tax change, offering a sales tax rebate for sophisticated parts installed in Idaho into out-of-state aircraft, would directly create jobs at aircraft parts businesses across Idaho. It also had a five-year expiration, or “sunset clause,” so lawmakers could check up on its results.

Moyle said the measure is an example of the right way to do a tax break. “It’s one of those exemptions where they did what they said they would,” he said. The House panel voted to introduce the bill, which Moyle is co-sponsoring with Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Boise; that clears the way for a full hearing.

When Henderson pitched the bill, he said 23 states already offered similar tax exemptions, putting Idaho aviation parts businesses at a disadvantage. He told senators if the bill was enacted, seven Idaho companies would add 32 jobs within a year, and in the next five years, they'd hire on 182 new aircraft technicians. "There may be more potential than that, but today I wish to deal in the facts, and those seven companies are factual," he said then. "They are significant jobs and very important to our economy."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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