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Koehler works to preserve Peoria-area jobs

airplane mech 111419SPRINGFIELD – Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) that would ensure the preservation of manufacturing jobs in the Peoria area passed the Senate with bipartisan support yesterday.

“The point of this legislation is simple: to keep good-paying jobs in our area,” Koehler said. “Without this tax exemption there is no question that aviation companies would have to take a long look at doing business elsewhere.”

Peoria is home to Byerly Aviation, a company that offers maintenance, charters and aircraft sales.

This legislation would reinstate the Illinois state sales tax exemption for materials used in aircraft manufacturing, which expired Dec. 31, 2014.

Since its expiration, the Illinois Department of Revenue audited several privately owned aviation repair companies and never required them to collect sales tax. The Illinois Aviation Trades Association believes the outstanding tax bill is roughly $50 million.

“Since the expiration of this sales tax, Illinois has become an outlier,” Koehler said. “In order to remain competitive with several other states who currently offer this exemption, we had to reinstate it.”

This legislation now awaits the governor’s signature.

Sen. David Koehler


Assistant Majority Leader
46th District

Years served:
Appointed December 2006; Elected 2008 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Education; Environment and Conservation (Vice-Chairperson); Labor; Local Government; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Born and raised in South Dakota, moved to Peoria in 1978; B.A., Yankton College, 1971; M.A. in divinity, United Theological Seminary, 1974; staff member, National Farm Worker Ministry; community organizer and program manager, Peoria Friendship House; executive director, Peoria Area Labor Management Council; president, Labor Management Cooperative Health Programs Inc.; Peoria County Board member, 1982-88; Peoria City Council member, 1989-97 (mayor pro tem, 1993-94); first elected to Senate in 2006; married with three daughters, a son-in-law and two granddaughters.

Associated Representatives:
Jehan Gordon-Booth
Michael D. Unes