Kentucky Considers Giving Some Aircraft Owners a Tax Break

State Reps. Jonathan Dixon, Daniel Fister, and DJ Johnson sponsored the proposed bill. [File Photo: Adobe Stock]

The Kentucky House of Representatives is considering a bill that would make personal aircraft exempt from state and local property taxes.

Passage of the bill would result in a tax break for private airplanes and helicopters that are “not used in the business of transporting persons or property for compensation or hire,” according to language in the bill. Owners currently pay 1.5 cents per year for each $100 of the aircraft’s assessed value.

According to the Kentucky Revenue Department, 770 tax returns from the most recent reporting year that included personal aircraft raised about $50,000 for the state treasury and $2.5 million for schools, cities, and other local entities.

State Reps. Jonathan Dixon, Daniel Fister, and DJ Johnson sponsored the bill, which has generated controversy because it comes days after the House voted to reduce unemployment insurance payments to state residents who lost their jobs. 

Under that bill, the maximum amount of time a person could collect unemployment insurance was cut to 24 weeks from 26 weeks. If the state’s unemployment rate is low, the maximum time to collect benefits could be cut to as little as 12 weeks, according to the bill.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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