Leaders of the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) and Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) cited the many negative effects of a proposed 10 percent luxury tax on general aviation aircraft during testimony late last month before the Canadian government’s Standing Committee on Finance.
“Very few aircraft fall into the personal luxury category,” said CBAA president and CEO Anthony Norejko. “They are nothing like yachts or high-end cars. They are not a lifestyle choice, but rather a safe, reliable, and efficient mode of transportation. The imposition of such a tax on aircraft used for business purposes will have a number of downstream negative implications for safety and sustainability, as well as for the people, businesses, and communities that rely on our aircraft."
COPA president and CEO Christine Gervais told committee members that it is “misrepresentative” to believe only the wealthy own private aircraft. Among the Canadians who own personal aircraft are “medical professionals who travel to remote communities not serviced by commercial operators. Small business owners use their personal aircraft in locations that are also not accessible to mainstream operators, ensuring their goods and services are available to all Canadians. Farmers depend on their crop-dusting aircraft.”
In addition, the two industry leaders argued that the new tax might also have environmental and safety impacts.