Excise tax reallocation for aircraft provides more funding for aviation projects

DATED: AUGUST 4, 2015

Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed the Transportation Appropriations Bill (Senate Bill 5988), which includes language to reallocate 100 percent of the existing annual state excise tax fees for aircraft to fund airport projects. Previously, 90 percent of aircraft excise tax funds were deposited into the General Fund, with only 10 percent going into the Aeronautics Account toward aviation.

The change, which only reallocates existing funds without increasing the aircraft excise tax, was championed by Senator Steve Hobbs and Representative Tom Dent.

“Our state’s small airports keep our communities connected,” said Senator Hobbs. “Unfortunately they are often overlooked. The intention of this bill is to fix that and ensure small airports have access to funding that will allow them to keep their passengers safe and their facilities up to date.”

“I’m very pleased to see revenues from the aircraft excise tax going back into aviation,” added Rep. Dent. “This was a priority for me, and it means a lot to the aviation community.”

A diverse group of associations worked together to support and testify in favor of this policy change:

Washington State Aviation Alliance
Washington Airport Management Association
Washington Aviation Association
Washington Public Ports Association
Washington Pilots Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Washington State Community Airport Association
Recreational Aviation Foundation
Washington Seaplane Pilots Association
Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association
Association of Washington Business

“The road to success on this important issue was paved with the time and effort of many individuals and their respective associations, alliances and organizations,” said Kandace Harvey, Washington State Aviation Alliance president. “We were able to speak to the Legislature with one voice in support of aviation.”

Fees from the aircraft excise tax will now go towards funding the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Airport Aid Grant Program, which supports airport preservation and safety projects.

Learn more about WSDOT Aviation programs at www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation.