February 18, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
Illinois State Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-8th district) has introduced legislation that classifies general aviation airplanes costing more than $500,000 as “luxury items,” and proposes an additional 5-percent sales tax—on top of the 7.25-percent sales tax already in effect.
According to the language in Ford’s bill (Illinois H.B.451), general aviation airplanes are luxury items just like “fur clothing” and “jewelry.”
AOPA has written to the committee, explaining that the tax increase would be a hindrance to the economic recovery in Illinois. AOPA Great Lakes Regional Representative Bill Blake will be following up with the committee. The association will continue to work to defeat this bill and reach out to decision makers across the nation to correct this misguided perception of general aviation. It’s this sort of prejudice that creates an environment conducive to excessive taxes on general aviation. Ford’s legislation has been referred to committee, but no hearing or vote has yet been scheduled.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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