New bill eliminates commercial aircraft sales tax

Posted at: 03/03/2014 5:31 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s something that’s cost New Mexico a lot of business.

A sales tax on commercial planes.

Buyers have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales tax.

And New Mexico companies, like AerSale, say they’ve been watching businesses just fly away.

“Even today we are losing work form companies that say look I don't want to maintain the airplane here, I’m going to fly it someplace where I don't have to pay taxes,” said Robert Nichols, Chief Operating Officer for AerSale.  “Airlines are competing very hard to hold their cost down. They are watching their pennies."

In surrounding states like Colorado, Texas, and Arizona, there’s no sales tax at all.

And today, New Mexico joined them.

Governor Susana Martinez signed a bill eliminating taxes on the sale of commercial aircraft.

The big aviation companies in New Mexico say this is huge.  Now more companies will come to New Mexico to do business resulting in at least 125 jobs in Roswell alone.

“Because of the hard work of these legislators, we've now got a level playing field, that's going to attract a lot more work," said Nichols.

Along with jobs, the bill is estimated to have a total economic impact of 10.5 million dollars in New Mexico.

The bill goes into effect July 1.