2011 Press Releases

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NBAA Applauds Senators' Rejection of User Fees

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected] 

Washington, DC, November 4, 2011 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today thanked a bipartisan group of 23 senators who sent a letter to President Obama opposing general aviation (GA) user fees.

The November 2 letter, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), strongly opposes the $100 per-flight tax on turbine-powered aircraft and other proposed user fees the president has offered congress as part of a deficit-reduction package. A Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction must agree by November 23 on a deficit-reduction plan with at least $1.5 trillion in savings over the next ten years.

Bolen said the letter from the Senators shows they understand the value of general aviation to business. "They know that user fees would pose an onerous, hidden administrative cost for the thousands of small and mid-size businesses that rely on aircraft to succeed," he said. "We are committed to working with Senator Moran and others in the Senate and House to defeat this bad policy idea."

In the letter, the Senators state: "With 14 million Americans looking for work, our government's first priority should be to create an environment in which businesses can grow and hire additional workers.  While we agree that the deficit must be reduced, increasing taxes on corporate jets and other GA aircraft will only further stifle economic recovery,"

The letter also reminds the President that new aviation user fees have been consistently rejected by the House and Senate, and that implementing user fees in lieu of existing fuel taxes would require creation of an entirely new federal collection bureaucracy, which "seems counterproductive to deficit reduction."

"The United States cannot afford to shut down an industry, like general aviation, that contributes significantly to the nation's exports," the letter says, noting that U.S. GA manufacturers now export more than 50 percent of aircraft they produce. "This trend in exports substantiates your goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years."

The senators' letter also points out that general aviation employs 1.2 million people and generates $150 billion in economic activity annually, and that GA aircraft fly daily missions for emergency medical transport, aerial firefighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, disaster relief, national security and counterterrorism.

In addition to Sen. Moran, signers of the letter were Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), John Thune (R-S.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and John McCain (R-Ariz.

View a copy of the senators' November 2 letter.

Earlier this year, a similar letter from a bipartisan group of 116 Representatives told the President that such a new tax on aviation would be "dead on arrival." View the letter from the House lawmakers.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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