SPRINGFIELD — Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday vetoed a bill that would have provided a sales tax exemption on the sale of private jet parts and components retroactive to 2010 and continuing through 2024.
House Bill 3902 cleared the state House on Oct. 30 by a vote of 113-0, with one member voting “present.” It passed the Senate Nov. 14 by a vote of 48-1.
Sen. Rachelle Crowe, a Glen Carbon Democrat and lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate, argued that the tax exemption had been on the books for years but was allowed to lapse with almost nobody noticing. As a result, she said, aircraft repair companies continued not charging their customers for the tax, and she said it would be “absurd” to ask those companies to go back and collect it from their customers now.
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Pritzker, however, said in a statement that those companies owe $50 million in past-due taxes, interest and penalties. He said the bill would not only forgive that debt but would provide another $10 million in tax breaks in each of the next five years.
“Giving private aircraft companies tens of millions of dollars in past due tax forgiveness is not the right fiscal decision for our state as we face billions in debt associated with unpaid bills, a multi-billion-dollar structural deficit, and critical needs in schools and public safety services,” Pritzker said in his veto message.
Company officials for Moline's Elliott Aviation have previously said if the law is vetoed by Pritzker, as he has said he will and the veto is not overridden, it could greatly affect the company which employs 273 people, about two-thirds of all the workers at the Quad City International Airport.
According to its website, Elliott Aviation has been providing aircraft sales, aviation services and innovative solutions since 1936. Its work includes aircraft sales and acquisitions, avionics, maintenance, parts, paint and interiors, accessories, aircraft management, charter services and three locations in the Midwest — Moline, Des Moines and Minneapolis.