Thursday, April 05, 2012

Western Aircraft in Boise starts hiring after Legislature grants sales-tax break

The hiring sign is out at Western Aircraft in Boise.

Less than a month after Idaho lawmakers gave the company a sales-tax break on parts used in out-of-state private aircraft, Western is making good on its promise to expand hiring.

The company repairs and sells aircraft. It plans to add a dozen workers to launch a second shift. Three employees have already been hired, said Jeff Mihalic, Western’s president.

Western tried three times to convince lawmakers that it needed the exemption on Idaho's percent sales tax charged to out-of-state customers for parts so it could be more competitive with businesses in 26 other states where the tax is waived.

The most recent bill, signed March 9 by Gov. Butch Otter, expanded the exemption to other aircraft businesses in the state.

Western told lawmakers that the exemption would lead to 12 new jobs in the first year and up to 100 new jobs over the next five years. The company has 165 employees. The average worker at Western earns $56,000 including base pay and overtime, Mihalic said.

Removing the sales tax was part of the company’s strategy to double its size in the next five years. Western, located at 4300 South Kennedy St., does about $40 million in operations a year, excluding aircraft sales, Mihalic said.

Western has done business west of the Rockies so far, but is now expanding its reach to states such as Texas and Ohio with additional sales staff. “We’ve got a couple of new customers in Ohio,” he said. “We are gaining momentum.”

Mihalic, who joined the company a couple of years ago, said Western Airraft launched its expansion plans before it had secured the tax exemption, which was key to the plan. “I was confident from what I heard from legislators and our lobbyist that we would eventually win this argument,” he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment