Debate Over Whether Private Planes Should Be Exempt From Sales Tax

May 28, 2019

The Ohio House’s two year state budget repeals tax breaks for personal aircraft or private planes. Now Senators are being urged to remove that provision by an official from one of Ohio’s two companies offering part ownership of private jets. 

The Executive Vice President of fractional jet company Net Jets Bradley Ferrell urged senators to think twice.

“NetJets would either have to pass this tax obligation through to its customers which would adversely affect NetJets competitiveness by increasing the price of its products or alternatively, it would have to incur the tax impact itself thereby negatively affecting its profitability. Neither of these options would be palatable to NetJets long term. Instead, NetJets would be forced to consider other states with more favorable sales tax environments. And there are plenty," Ferrell said.

Ferrell said NetJets could take its business to any one of 14 other states that exempt or greatly reduce sales taxes. But some lawmakers on the finance committee wonder why private jet companies deserve a sales tax break over ordinary Ohioans. Democratic Sen. Nickie Antonio noted Ohioans pay more than 7% sales tax.

“So why is it that NetJets shouldn’t pay almost as much as everyday Ohioans pay for their sales tax?" Antonio asked.

Ferrell says NetJets pays other taxes and has provided 2400 good paying jobs at its Ohio facilities. He says the company provides money and training opportunities to Ohio State University. If the Senate does not remove the sales tax provision, Farrell says NetJets will pay millions more each year.