Governor Laura Kelly Ceremonially Signs Bill Providing Tax Credits to Support Aviation Workforce Development

Jun 15, 2022

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~Joins Business Leaders and Bipartisan Legislators in Wichita to Celebrate Investment in Key Kansas Industry~

TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly joined legislators and aviation industry leaders at the National Center for Aviation Training in Wichita to ceremonially sign bipartisan House Bill 2239, which among other things creates tax credits for the aviation and aerospace industry. The Governor originally signed the bill on April 14, investing in the workforce development of one of Kansas’ largest industries.

“I signed legislation that provides tax credits to the aviation industry because supporting the workforce development of one of our state’s most important sectors is key to our shared economic success,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Now, aviation and aerospace businesses will have more tools to recruit and retain talented employees, enabling the industry to soar to new heights.”

HB 2239 creates one tax credit for aviation employees and two tax credits for aviation employers, all beginning in tax year 2022.

The bill encourages more in-state and out-of-state workers to join the Kansas aerospace industry by creating a nonrefundable tax credit for taxpayers who become qualified aviation employees during the taxable year. Employees with income tax liability less than $5,000 are eligible to carry any unused credit forward for up to four additional tax years – a $25,000 tax incentive over five years.

The bill also incentivizes employers to offer tuition reimbursement for employees who further their education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields by providing a nonrefundable income tax credit for tuition at a qualified program. This credit is capped at 50% of the total amount of tuition reimbursement paid and can be claimed each year, for up to the fourth year of employment with a qualified employer.  

Finally, the bill provides more resources for industry recruitment by creating  a nonrefundable tax credit for taxpayers for an amount equal to 10% of the compensation paid to qualified employees in each of the first five years of employment, not to exceed $15,000 per year.

These tax credits add to Governor Kelly’s previous support of the vital aviation industry. Kansas is a nationwide leader in aerospace and is home to more than 450 aviation industry suppliers including leaders such as Spirit, Bombardier, and Textron Aviation.

In April the Governor signed the state’s budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which includes $7 million for the National Institute for Aviation Research, a leading innovator in aviation research, safety, manufacturing, and design. It represents the first installment of a five-year, $35 million investment in one of Kansas’ most critical assets.

More information on HB 2239 can be found here.

Photos from the bill signing event available for media use can be found below: