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President's Perspective

NBAA Supports You at Tax Time and Year-Round

By Ed Bolen

NBAA President and CEO Ed BolenAs we end the first quarter of 2011, and as tax time approaches, the business aviation community is welcoming recently approved tax - and costsaving measures for businesses – measures that NBAA has vigorously advocated for in Washington and in state legislatures.

For example, NBAA worked to ensure that federal tax legislation passed at the end of last year included provisions allowing businesses 100 percent accelerated (or “bonus”) depreciation on investments in capital assets, including new aircraft, through December 31, 2011, retroactive to September 8, 2010.

At the time the legislation passed, I noted that that the bill has a two-fold benefit, in that it enables companies to gain immediate access to the competitive, productivity, efficiency and other benefits of business aircraft, while it also helps preserve aircraft manufacturing jobs.

Earlier in 2010, the Florida legislature modified its existing tax structure that had forced visiting out-of-state aircraft owners to pay up to a 6 percent tax on the sale price of their aircraft if they flew that plane to the state within six months of its purchase. The new law, which took effect last July, allows out-of-state aircraft owners to visit Florida without fear of a use tax.

This tax reform was aided by NBAA and its Members, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), South Florida Business Aviation Association and Florida Aviation Trades Association, among others, who contacted lawmakers to explain the significant contribution of general aviation to the state's economy.

Mobilization of NBAA Members also made a difference in a recent Washington state tax battle in which the state Senate signaled its opposition to an onerous tax increase proposal for aircraft owners in the state, passing an annual spending package without including the tax measure.

The Washington state success followed a weeks-long advocacy campaign in which NBAA and its Members worked as part of a unified grassroots coalition known as the Washington Aviation Coalition, which included the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association, members of AOPA, the Washington Pilots Association and others.

The coalition presented a unified message based on a central fact: General aviation, including business aviation, is a major economic driver in the state of Washington. Such a tax hike would likely decrease tax revenues and drive business out of the state.

Of course, while NBAA continues to advocate for common-sense tax policies that support your business considerations, we also remain focused on your operational concerns.

That's why, in this third annual safety-themed edition of Business Aviation Insider, you'll find the latest information on top safety priorities, like fatigue avoidance (page 10), developing safety management systems (page 13) and the latest on rulemaking regarding duty and rest time for pilots (page 8).

Providing Members with the latest developments in safe flight operations is part of our ongoing commitment to keep safety a top priority of your Association. This commitment is evident in NBAA's ongoing support of Flight Safety Foundation's Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar, Bombardier's Safety Standdown USA and Safety Standdown Europe, and Cessna's Single Pilot Safety Standdown.

Added to these ongoing industry-leading safety events, NBAA also continues to introduce new safety guidance as developments occur and make the information available across multiple platforms: from articles in Business Aviation Insider to online learning webinars, expert panels at regional forums and safety updates to the popular NBAA Management Guide.

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