DreamPuff - Hot Air Balloon Flights Rides Maryland

Hot Air Balloon Pilots Beware!

Many States are or will be trying to assess taxes on your gross receipts in direct violation of FEDERAL LAW and a SUPREME COURT Ruling. Most State employees simply do not know of the Federal Law preempting such a tax.

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DreamStar - Hot Air Balloon Flights Maryland

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Compliant States

The following states are currently in compliance with Federal Law. A statement of compliance is provided by them for future tax challenges. We need to know what is going on in each state. Tell us about your state. Just because they are not going after you now does not mean they will not in the future.

While Ron and Matt won their individual cases in Maryland, up until 2010 future Maryland balloon pilots could have been challenged because a precedent setting tax ruling was not made. Maryland Comptroller was slick in withdrawing their case just five days before our day in tax court thus ending their four year illegal efforts. FINALLY June 2011---read below-- Maryland is now a compliant state!!

Read how a state can very quickly become a non-compliant state and authorize a tax on your gross receipts: New York Times story

  • Alaska ---Sales Tax Imposition - 1996


  • Florida -- assessing admissions tax July 20, 2012 UPDATE
    Susan Stark -
    Skydive City, Zephyrhills, FL
    Susan reports good news that the D.O.R. in Florida has proposed an amendment to Rule 12A-1.005 F.A.C. (Admissions). It reads: PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The purpose of the proposed amendments to Rule 12A-1.005, F.A.C. (Admissions), is to provide that charges for individuals traveling in air commerce, such as skydiving, helicopter, or untethered hot air balloon rides, are not subject to the tax imposed on admissions. See details: Notice of Development of Rulemaking
    April 2012 update-" Florida DOR withdrew our sales tax assessment for sales tax on skydiving after we made a strong case based on Anti-Head Tax Act."
    Susan Stark -
    Skydive City, Zephyrhills, FL
    This is one more success story. However the tax people will not make an across the board exemption without a fight. See Maryland -and how a county delegate changed the state tax code to make it right for all balloon operations in Maryland. It took Susan over one year to win and her company will no longer be paying a head tax. Florida still charges a head tax on other companies (balloons, skydiving) flying in air commerce. If you are being taxed on passengers, call Ron Broderick for assistance. A head tax on passengers flying in air commerce is a violation of federal law.

  • Idaho --- Sales Tax Ruling Clarification- 2008
    • Jim Knight email recently ran into the sales tax issue with Idaho. "My solution was to present the Maryland court decision and letter from the DOT to my accountant who is buddy-buddy with all the local tax commission officials. She made one phone call, faxed the document, schmoozed the guy and all my problems went away. Lot cheaper than a court battle."

  • Iowa ---Sales Tax Imposition Ruling - 1985

  • Kansas ---Private Letter Ruling 6/30/2010

  • Maryland
    • June 2011 FINALLY- HB 499- was signed into law. Admissions and Amusement Tax - Exemption- Hot Air Balloons: This Act provides that a county or municipal corporation may not impose an admissions and amusement tax on the gross receipts of admission to or use of a nontethered hot air balloon.
    • 4/4/2011 UPDATE: State Senate signed bill exempting hot air balloons from admissions and amusement tax. Bill was signed by the Governor and became law. Thanks to State Delegate Kathy Szeliga for sumbitting and co signing this bill. Thank you Kathy!! Maryland needs more elected officials like Kathy!!
    • 3/17/2011 UPDATE: Bill proposed State House Ways and Means Committee would protect balloon operators from amusement tax.
    • October 2010 --Ron Broderick email - State withdrew assessment-and paid Ron all back payments(past three years) PLUS $1800 in penalty fees because of their MISTAKE.
    • Matt Lidinsky email - State withdrew assessment

  • Missouri
  • April 2014 FINALLY-- Assessing sales tax on gross receipts has come to an end. Thank You Keith Fear for your hard work and for not giving up.
  • Keith Fear email - We won! We won everything related to sales tax, but the fact that we can turn people away means we are not a common carrier so Missouri still taxes repair parts, annuals, and aircraft. But no more sales tax on balloon rides in Missouri! Now to get the department of revenue to honor the missouri supreme court decision.

    • New Mexico XXXXXXXX
      is compliant on paper. HOWEVER June 2015-- tax agents were carelessly intrepreting the Ruling to make it be whatever they want it to be.

    • Tennessee
      • - David Eastland >>email provided the following: State position memo
      • - Skip Durham >>May 4, 2013 - My accountant incorectly set up my LLC for the balloon ride business in Tn. We got sales tax notices, and after calls to dept. of rev. we were still getting notices. I called Balloon Federation of America and they put me in touch with a guy over ride operations. He suggested I hire a tax atty. I really didn't feel like that was necessary to fight a battle that had already been won, and started searching the web until I found your page. I phoned the dept of rev. and read them the tax code for Tennessee that David Eastland posted on your site. A few questions later they closed my account, problem solved! Thanks Again,
        Skip Durham

      Details will be provided soon state by state. We will be listing pilots who are partner members and will be sharing their past experiences with us for your benefit. Even in these compliant states an unknowing state tax auditor could come after you not knowing of this letter of compliance.

      Much more to come.

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    Maryland Hot Air Balloon Flights