August 7, 2004
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen recently signed a bill reversing a scheduled tax increase on aviation fuel. Without the efforts of AOPA Regional Representative Bob Minter, Tennessee pilots would have been hit with a 100-percent increase in state taxes on fuel in January.
That was because the state had passed a "streamlined sales tax" bill designed to bring nationwide consistency to how states apply sales and use taxes. But the unintended effect was to potentially raise the sales tax rate on general aviation fuel from 4.5 percent to 9.5 percent. Immediately after the streamlined sales tax bill passed, Minter began working with legislators to win relief for GA pilots. The result was the bill (SB3454) that passed the legislature and Bredesen - a fellow pilot - signed into law June 21. In a letter to the governor, AOPA President Phil Boyer expressed his personal appreciation and "that of AOPA's more than 7,000 members in the State of Tennessee for your interest and assistance in helping realign aviation fuel taxes within Tennessee's streamlined sales tax legislation via SB3454."
July 8, 2004
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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