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SPRINGFIELD – Recognizing the necessity of the thousands of highly-skilled, highly-paid jobs jet repair companies provide to people in the state, the Illinois Senate overrode the governor’s veto of House Bill 3902 in a bipartisan manner Wednesday.

State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) led the efforts to protect jobs in the Metro East.

“I refused to sit idly by and allow thousands of people to lose their jobs because of a mistake by a former administration,” Crowe said. “Labor workers in the aviation repair industry contribute vital economic growth in the Metro East region and across the state, and this measure is an affirmation of support to them and their families.”

The measure reinstates Illinois’ sales tax exemption for aircraft materials, which expired Dec. 31, 2014.

Since its expiration, the Illinois Department of Revenue audited several privately-owned aviation repair companies and never required them to collect sales tax. The Illinois Aviation Trades Association believes the outstanding tax bill is roughly $50 million.

“Thirty-six other states offer this sales tax exemption to some degree,” Crowe said. “The only way to ensure the aviation repair industry continues to flourish in Illinois is allowing the exemption for companies to compete with others in Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin.”

Crowe believes the exemption should have never expired in the first place and thanks the employees of West Star Aviation in East Alton for bringing this to her attention.

House Bill 3902 passed the Senate 54-1 with bipartisan support.