General aviation taxes. They’re collected each time I fly. From the moment I start the engine of my Turbo Cirrus SR22 Aircraft until the moment the blades stop spinning, taxes are being collected via the use of an aviation fuel tax. If I fly a long trip where I’m likely going to be using more air traffic services, I burn more fuel, and therefore I pay more taxes. If I make a quick hop to see a customer closer to home, I’ll likely use less air traffic services, burn less fuel, and therefore I pay less. Simple. Effective. Proven. It’s perhaps the most brilliant fair tax in effect today by our federal government.
What disturbs me is the recent proposal by the Obama administration to implement a new type of user fee which would negatively affect the general aviation community. The proposal calls for a $100 fee to be paid for each business flight. That means whether I’m flying to Miami or Memphis, I’d pay the same fee. This simply makes no sense since there’s no correlation between my actual aircraft usage and the amount of revenue collected. To make matters even worse, a whole new bureaucracy would need to be created (and paid for) simply to collect these new “use taxes.” This is a bad solution to a problem that’s already been solved. The current system isn’t broken, so let’s quit trying to fix it.
Beyond the unfair nature of the proposed user fees, I think it’s also important to note the negative effect these fees will have on our economy. Take for instance my own company’s use of our general aviation aircraft. We use our Turbo Cirrus SR22 to visit customers throughout the country. It allows us to visit multiple customers in a single day, often turning three days of travel into one. We’re able to see more customers, make more sales, grow our business, hire more employees, and better serve our customers so they can grow their businesses. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Our Cirrus has allowed my small business to grow which has a positive effect on the economy. If these new user fees are enacted, it will mean a substantial increase in costs to our company. This will stifle our growth, thereby stifling our contribution to our community and to the economy. Our company isn’t unique, there are thousands of others just like us throughout the country who rely on general aviation which will be harmed by this proposal. This proposal is simply bad for general aviation, bad for business and bad for our economy.
I recently spoke with Pete Combs, host of the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Flight Plan Podcast series, to voice my concerns. He wrote a great article explaining the numerous flaws of the new user fee proposal, along with an audio interview which includes excerpts from our conversation.
You can read a full article, Industry United in Thwarting Latest User Fee Threat by clicking here. At the bottom of the article there’s the full audio portion of the interview. I’ve also included a link directly to the audio interview here for your convenience.
Read the Full Article at the NBAA Site: Industry United in Thwarting Latest User Fee Threat
Listen to the Full Audio Interview: Listen Now