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Union Leader Blasts Administration Proposal for Altering Business Aircraft Tax Policy

October 10, 2011

The president of a manufacturers union is raising alarm over President Obama’s targeting of business aviation with his plan for changing the depreciation schedules for business airplanes. In a guest editorial published October 4 in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the union leader points out that such a plan could adversely impact an entire industry. 

“[President Barack] Obama may think he's clipping the wings of high-flying CEOs,” said R. Thomas Buffenbarger, President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), in the editorial. “But the people who would really pay the price for this change in the tax code are workers in the general aviation (GA) industry…”

Buffenbarger reminded Inquirer readers that GA is among the industries hit hardest by the economic downturn, with American manufacturers shipping only 1,334 aircraft last year, compared to more than 3,000 annually in 2007 and 2008. “The biggest losers in this were industry workers who lost their jobs,” he wrote.

The guest editorial came shortly after President Obama proposed the elimination of the existing deduction for business airplanes as one of three sources for funding his jobs legislation program, despite the fact that it would offset no more than $3 billion, about six tenths of one percent of the $447 billion cost of the jobs bill.