Aircraft Owner Was Taxable on Lease Transaction Despite Lack of Actual Possession
In NACG Leasing v. Department of Treasury, Michigan Supreme Court, No. 146234, February 6, 2014, the taxpayer purchased an aircraft and immediately executed a lease to another company. The leasee had possession of the aircraft. The Supreme Court held the taxpayer (lessor) subject to Michigan use tax because the they exercised a right or power incident to ownership in Michigan when it executed the lease.
The act of ceding control over the aircraft constituted an exercise of a right incident to ownership. The taxpayer used the aircraft for purposes of the Use Tax Act regardless of whether it ever had actual possession of the aircraft.