The New York State Legislature recently passed significant tax reform which brings the Empire State’s aviation tax requirements in line with neighboring jurisdictions. Through its budget process, the State legislature exempted general aviation aircraft from its sales and use tax. The measure is aimed at attracting aviation-related jobs and business to New York, which has long been devoid of such economic resources. The State legislature also removed onerous requirements on leasing structures used by aircraft owners and other businesses.
Once signed by the governor, the reforms will exempt general aviation aircraft, machinery and equipment installed on such aircraft from New York sales and use tax, beginning on Sept. 1, 2015. The exact level of impact on the State’s economy and aircraft owners, as well as the legal implications for aircraft transactions remain to be seen.
Due to the complexity of aircraft transactions, potential buyers and sellers should consult with experienced legal counsel as early as possible in the deal process.
Photo credit: U-T San Diego, John Gibbins / AP
Every now and then, a story emerges regarding a small airplane that made an emergency landing on a public road or highway. The press never fails to sensationalize the story, often concluding without any evidence that a “stall” or other “failure” caused the incident. Thankfully, skilled pilots who are forced to make these types of emergency landings often walk away from the event. The Federal Aviation Regulations authorize a pilot in command to deviate from any rule to the extent necessary to “meet that emergency.” See FAR 91.3(b). However, when landing on tarmac not owned or operated by FAA governed airports, pilots often encounter difficulties from the state and local authorities which govern the commandeered pavement.
State and local authorities who have no specialized training in aviation regulations may cite pilots in these situations for obstructing highways, damaging property, careless operation, and other offenses despite the fact that the pilots most likely failed to violate a single FAR. It is important to remember that when faced with such a situation, any statement made to authorities may be used against you. Similarly, statements made to the press will often be misprinted and misconstrued. It is wise consult an experienced aviation attorney before speaking to any authorities – federal, state, or local. Our attorneys are available to assist in a wide range of situations, both emergency and routine.