October 2, 2005
AOPA is working with Ohio state officials to roll back the inequitable aircraft registration fee imposed in 2003. When the legislature changed the fee structure in 2002, an owner of a typical four-seat GA aircraft was hit with an 800-percent tax increase. Even more unfairly, a Cessna 172 owner now pays the same annual fee as the owner of a Boeing 767 cargo plane!
This week, AOPA legislative specialists huddled with Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) officials to discuss more equitable alternatives. "They recognize that Ohio aircraft owners need relief," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs, "and ODOT seems willing to work with AOPA to get this done."
Those officials have some self-interest in getting the change. Two years ago, when AOPA first tried to stop the legislation and then urged Gov. Bob Taft to veto it, the association predicted that many aircraft owners would register their aircraft outside of Ohio. "State aircraft registration is an ineffective means of government financing," AOPA President Phil Boyer told Taft at the time. As predicted, aircraft registrations - and fees collected - have dropped off markedly.
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AOPA told lawmakers that a tax-abatement bill introduced in Nevada would stimulate aviation business and make more services available to members.
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