Sen. Rachelle Crowe

SPRINGFIELD – In support of the good-paying jobs and vital economic contributions jet repair companies provide to the Metro East, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) advanced an initiative out of the Senate Revenue Committee to help keep their doors open.

“West Star Aviation provides over 500 good-paying jobs in the East Alton region,” Crowe said. “We need to keep them here.”

The measure reinstates Illinois’ sales tax exemption for aircraft materials, 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.

“Most states offer this tax exemption,” Crowe said. “Without it, Illinois cannot compete with neighbors like Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin and competitors like California and Florida.”

“Without this exemption, we’ll have a sales tax on the books, but we won’t have sales to tax,” Jim Rankin, CEO of West Star Aviation, said.

House Bill 3902 passed the Senate Revenue Committee today and moves to the full Senate for further consideration.