June 14, 2012
By Dan Namowitz
An AOPA-backed bill to fund state aeronautics accounts without increasing Michigan’s already-high state tax on aviation fuel and other products is on its way to Gov. Richard Snyder for signing.
House Bill 4025 passed the state Senate 35-1 June 14. The House passed the bill in April. The measure amends state tax law by dedicating a share of tax proceeds from sales of fuel and other aviation products to the state aeronautics accounts to fund maintenance and improvements of aviation infrastructure.
“We are hopeful that the governor will sign the bill,” said Mark Kimberling, AOPA director of state government affairs.
After the Michigan House passed the bill April 26 on an 81-29 vote, AOPA reported that the bill’s progress in 2012 marked a departure from previous legislative sessions--when efforts to increase aviation taxes flourished. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Dave Agema in the House, and by Sen. Tom Casperson in the Senate.
AOPA worked jointly for its passage with the Michigan Association of Airport Executives and the Michigan Business Aviation Association, with AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds traveling to Lansing on numerous occasions to urge passage.
“This was truly a group effort to win passage of this legislation. AOPA will continue to press forward to ensure that a sufficient amount of revenues derived from aviation are reinvested in state aviation infrastructure,” Kimberling said.
AOPA members helped move the effort forward by contacting lawmakers and urging them to contact their state legislators and express support for the legislation, Kimberling added.
AOPA’s Central Southwest regional manager recently put GA’s utility to the test with a whirlwind trip covering four states, seven airports, and nine meetings.
Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill adding aviation to an existing recreational-use statute.
Smith Field in Fort Wayne, Ind., has withstood three separate attacks—in the 1970s, 1990s, and 2002—to close it and redevelop the land. Now, it's thriving.
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