Capitol Report: Senate bill has provision favorable to private jet owners
Private jet owners won’t have to pay certain taxes if the Senate’s version of Republicans’ tax overhaul becomes law.
The plan passed by the Senate Finance Committee late Thursday includes a short provision about payments related to the management of private aircraft. Payments by aircraft owners to companies that store planes or hire or train pilots and crew would be exempt from excise taxes.
Read the bill.
The provision was backed by industry and was introduced as an amendment this week by Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, earlier this year also introduced legislation on the issue. NetJets, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B, +0.11% , is based in Columbus, Ohio.
Read: How to fly on a private jet for under $ 150 per person.
Now, other Democrats are slamming the inclusion of the provision in the Senate’s tax bill. The Democratic National Committee blasted out an email to reporters on Friday saying, “Seriously. How many middle-class families have even flown on a private jet, let alone own one?” On Twitter, a former economic-policy aide to President Barack Obama said it was “un-real” that it was included in the same bill that sunsets individual tax cuts.
UN-REAL. Check out what they added to the Senate bill the other night, at the same time that they made all the tax cuts for families expire.
A new tax break for private jets.
Page 51: https://t.co/6ySLW6Tpcs pic.twitter.com/YhLDwEVE5a
— Seth Hanlon (@SethHanlon) November 16, 2017
Industry supporters do not describe the provision as a tax break. In a statement this week, the National Air Transportation Association said it is a response to a 2012 Internal Revenue Service memo that contradicted precedent and “left many small businesses open to retroactive taxes, interest and fines.”
“Tax reform legislation has a long way to go, but this is an important step and small aviation businesses are appreciative of the inclusion of this provision, which provides them the tax certainty they have long sought,” said NATA President Martin Hiller, whose organization’s member companies provide services to general aviation and airlines.
Private jet use has lately drawn scrutiny in Washington, with former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigning in September, following reports he spent more than $ 1 million in taxpayer dollars on private plane travel.
Manufacturers of private aircraft include Airbus AIR, +0.42% , Boeing BA, +1.01% , and Embraer ERJ, +0.93% .