By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
In the upcoming session of the Alabama Legislature Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan), joined by many other house members, will sponsor HB 39. This bill is designed to grant a sales tax exemption for any parts, components, and systems used in the conversion, reconfiguration, or maintenance of an aircraft certified as a transport category airplane.
As sponsor of the bill, Lee points out that he introduced the legislation to help industry in his area but quickly found that the incentives created by HB 39 would help many other businesses across the state.
“We are like every other town in the state we are trying to attract business and to keep the business we have,” said Lee. “But as this developed, we all soon realized that Huntsville, Mobile and other cities would greatly benefit.”
In Lee’s district, the company PEMCO refurbishes aircraft and is a large employer for the area. Lees says that 350 jobs are directly tied to the aircraft industry here and other smaller businesses rely on those incomes to sell their good and services.
“These types of tax breaks are not unusual,” said Lee. “They are used to keep businesses in an area and to help them grow and employ more people. PEMCO has another facility in Mobile that is larger than the one in Dale county.
According to PEMCO’s website they have “five decades of tested and proven aircraft support, PEMCO World Air Services is an industry leader in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for wide and narrow body aircraft and regional jets from around the world.” With more than 300 cargo conversions, they are the world’s leading provider of narrow body aircraft cargo conversions. Over the past four decades, PEMCO has brought 26 different cargo platforms to market.
PEMCO facilities are located in South Florida, Southeast Alabama and Southwest Ohio. PEMCO sites are FAA-certified.
Their customers include United-Continental Airlines, JetBlue Airways and National Airlines.
Lee also points out that this is only based on state tax and the local tax are still applicable. He said that local lawmakers will decided on whether they want to offer the same type of tax incentive.
Also sponsoring HB 39 are Representatives Moore (B), Chesteen, Shiver, Barton, Weaver, Gaston, Ison, Fincher, Mask, Millican, McMillan, Collins, Johnson (K), Williams (J), Wren, Wallace, Buttram, Sessions, Beckman, Baker, Patterson, Sanderford, Faust, Galliher, Hill, Farley and Clouse.