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Leave taxes alone for general aviation
August 12, 2011
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  • August 11, 2011

    By Selena Shilad

    Your recent FactCheck.Org article (July 31: “President, Boehner Went beyond Facts in Speeches”) rightly highlights that President Barack Obama’s recently proposed additional tax burdens on general aviation operators and fliers would raise a paltry $300 million a year over a period of 10 years, which is minuscule within the context of a more than $14 trillion debt.

    But your article neglected to mention the important segment of our economy that would take a serious hit under these new taxes.

    First, the vast majority of those that use or own general aviation aircraft are not corporate CEOs. Rather, 85 percent are the middle management in small to midsized companies, which use these aircraft to visit plants and customers in far-off markets and ultimately represent an important part of their local economy.

    Not only that, these aircraft are used to deliver organs, provide medical care, and for law enforcement, postal service and disaster relief, among other services. All told, general aviation provides $150 billion to the national economy every year and 1.2 million jobs in this country, 8,000 in New Hampshire.

    An additional tax burden to general aviation operators would dampen the growth of an industry that is essential to the productivity of businesses across the country.

    It might be politically expedient to take shots at general aviation, but it makes no economic sense. We should be doing everything we can to support and grow our transportation infrastructure, which is a crucial part of our economy and one of the keys to our long-term economic growth.

    Selena Shilad

    Executive Director

    Alliance for Aviation Across America

    Washington, DC

    Date: 2011-08-11