ATLANTA -- The Georgia House of Representatives voted 128-42 for a two-year extension of a sales-tax exemption for the owners of out-of-state airplanes when they buy replacement parts.
The sponsor of House Bill 234, Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, said the $4.2 million extension will protect jobs at Gulfstream Aerospace’s Savannah and Brunswick facilities and Augusta’s Standard Aero.
Rep. Brian Thomas of Lilburn, the House Democratic Caucus chairman, asked why give keep a tax break for Gulfstream with its multi-million-dollar profits and backlog of orders.
“Why is it that the $4-plus-million that we’re giving to them would not be better used for schools?” he asked.
Stephens said the plane’s owners get the benefits and that it won’t reduce Gulfstream’s taxes.
Rep. David Knight, R-Griffin, noted that an airplane can simply be flown to one of the 21 states that don’t charge a tax on repair parts.
“We’re really not losing a lot of money because if they chose to fly their planes to Texas or anywhere else, we would not be getting their business or taxes either,” he said.
Now the measure heads to the Senate.