March 7, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
Another defender of general aviation in Congress has struck back at attempts to characterize the industry as a beneficiary of tax loopholes and other economic favoritism.
Statements by Obama administration officials designed to put a negative spin on aviation during the deficit-reduction deadlock in Washington, D.C.—by suggesting that business jet aircraft enjoy special tax treatment—amount to a “gimmick,” said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) in remarks on the Senate floor.
Such gimmicks—focusing on how business aircraft are depreciated—are coming out of the administration in the absence of “a serious plan” to address federal budget cuts now taking hold under sequestration, Moran said.
“The five-year depreciation schedule…was not created for the benefit of the ‘rich’ or ‘wealthy,’ but was created for the benefit of the 1.2 million hardworking, middle-class Americans who make a living building and servicing these airplanes,” Moran said.
In recent weeks, additional GA Caucus members in the Kansas delegation, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), have been vocal in their opposition to what they called the destructive impact on aviation workers of the administration’s negative depiction of the aircraft-manufacturing industry.
“The GA Caucus members, and especially the Kansas delegation, have been wonderful stewards of the message in defense of GA,” said Lorraine Howerton, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs. “Sen. Moran’s attention to this issue on the Senate floor increases the profile of the importance of GA and aviation jobs, and helps the public to understand GA’s positive impact on the U.S. economy.”
See video of Moran’s comments on the Senate floor here.
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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