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Groups Rap State-Of-The-Union Attack On Business Aviation
March 8, 2024
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  • President Joe Biden was still shaking hands after his State of the Union speech Thursday when aviation groups started firing responses to a line in the speech about those who operate business jets paying “their fair share” of taxes. In the briefing notes on the speech issued by the the White House, the administration also said it would eliminate an unspecified tax break “that gives preferential treatment to corporate jets compared to commercial aircraft” and increase the fuel taxes paid by business aircraft “so that corporate executives and other wealthy Americans pay their fair share for the use of airspace and other public services related to air travel.”

    NBAA President Ed Bolen said there’s no evidence those who use corporate aircraft are avoiding taxes and that they’re such important productivity tools that some Cabinet secretaries use them to efficiently get to places not well served by airlines. “Of course, every American business should pay the taxes they owe, but President Biden has unfairly chosen to target those who use business aviation, even though the vast majority of flights are taken by U.S. companies to help them compete effectively in a global marketplace,” Bolen said. “Business aviation is an industry that is essential to America’s economy and transportation system,” Bolen said. “It supports jobs, connects communities, helps companies succeed and provides humanitarian lift in times of crisis. This is an industry that should be promoted, not pilloried.”

    Alliance for Aviation Across America Interim Executive Director Devin Osting said the focus on business aviation was unfair.

    “The President’s comments unfairly singled out the business aviation industry — an industry that supports an economic impact of $247 billion and 1.2 million American jobs,” he said. “Aside from the rhetoric, the reality is that business aviation is a tool that allows companies to operate more efficiently and in rural and small markets that would otherwise present logistical challenges.” He said companies that use aviation perform better than those that do not.“The President’s comments tonight unfortunately reinforce an inaccurate stereotype of business aviation, which is essential to the nation’s economy and transportation system,” he said.