2018 Mississippi Legislative Accomplishment: Airbus Bill Passage

May 15th, 2018

2018 Mississippi Legislative Accomplishment: Airbus Bill Passage

An MMA Priority Bill During the 2018 Legislative Session

May 15, 2018

During most legislative sessions the MMA government affairs team is focused on the passage of bills that positively impact Mississippi’s business community as a whole.  We want to give our members the best possible chance to succeed, so we focus on things like reducing taxes, enhancing our workforce, and regulatory and legal reform.  However, sometimes we have the opportunity to push industry specific and even company specific legislation.  During the 2018 legislative session the MMA team was able to work on a bill that was specifically introduced for an MMA member.

In the Golden Triangle, Airbus Helicopters has been manufacturing helicopters for the U.S. Army as well as customized helicopters for other clients since 2004.  For their out of state customers, they have been flying their helicopters to their headquarters in Dallas (where helicopters are exempt from sales tax) to complete the sale process in order to save them from having to pay sales tax on such an expensive piece of machinery.  Ideally, Airbus wanted to bring their customers to the facility in Columbus, MS, where the helicopters are actually made to complete the final checks, test flights and sale without having to subject their customers to an additional expense.  This way, they can highlight their employees here and showcase all the good work that is being done in Mississippi.  This session the MMA worked with Airbus and their local legislators to pass Senate Bill 2998, which exempted the sale of helicopters to out of state customers from sales tax.  Not only will this benefit Airbus’s Columbus facility, but it will also bring more revenue into the area as out of state customers will need to spend some time in the area while the sale is completed.

“We want our customers to be able to shake hands with the people who built their helicopters.  We’re proud of our employees and the work they do here in Columbus, MS.  Thanks to the MMA team for working hard to help make this happen for us.”

– Earl Walker, Senior Director of Government Relations, Airbus Helicopters

The MMA will continue to work with the Legislature to create a better business climate that will allow our members optimal success in Mississippi.  However, we are also willing to use our influence to educate policy makers on things that are specific to your company or industry.  Manufacturing is the backbone of Mississippi’s economy, and helping even one of our companies grow and become more competitive has an exponentially beneficial effect on that company’s surrounding community and Mississippi as a whole.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed the Airbus bill into law on March 19, 2018. It will go into effect July 1, 2018.  
L-R: John Baas, Director of Government Affairs, MMA; John McKay, Executive Vice President, MMA;
Jay C. Moon, President & CEO, MMA; Gov. Phil Bryant; Earl Walker, Senior Director of Government Relations,
Airbus Helicopters; and Keith Kenne, Director of Government Contracts, Airbus Helicopters.