June 3, 2014
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
AOPA is asking members in New York to contact their state legislators and ask them to support a bill that could significantly boost general aviation and lower the cost of flying.
The Aviation Jobs Act, also known as Assembly Bill 3677-B, would exempt aircraft from New York’s sales and use tax, making it easier and less expensive to buy and base an aircraft in the state. Similar measures in other states have led to new jobs, reduced the cost of maintenance, raised aviation-related revenues, and helped make GA airports more self-sufficient.
A similar bill, Senate Bill 273-B, is expected to easily pass in the state Senate, where it has had strong support in the past, but the Assembly version of the measure has been stalled in the Ways and Means Committee.
“Without support from the aviation community, the bill may not make it to a vote before the legislative session ends June 19,” said Sean Collins, AOPA regional manager for the Eastern region. “If that happens, the process will have to begin again. That’s why we need AOPA members to speak up in support of the bill immediately. This is a chance to make a real difference to support GA and lower the cost of flying in New York.”
Contact information for lawmakers can be found on the State Assembly website. AOPA members are encouraged to call or email their representatives and tell them why GA is important, how this bill could benefit the state, and ask them to bring it to a vote of the full Assembly as soon as possible. “AOPA will keep working in Albany to make the case for this bill,” said Collins. “But the open support of our New York members is critical now in pushing this through.”
AOPA has been actively working on this issue since 2004, when the aviation community won a sales tax exemption for aviation maintenance. Since then, the association and others have been seeking to expand the exemption—a move that would help stimulate aviation in the state. Currently, New York’s tax structure means many individuals and companies purchase and house their aircraft in neighboring states.
Last month, AOPA and the New York Aviation Management Association joined forces to offer a free webinar on the importance of the Aviation Jobs Act. And earlier in the year, the association also helped sponsor the annual Aviation Advocacy Day in Albany, where leaders from across the state advocated for laws favoring GA.
Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.
State and local aviation officials recently learned about the latest efforts to transition from 100LL avgas to an unleaded fuel and got an update on the initiative to reform third class medical certification.
The idea that Congress doesn’t accomplish much isn’t new.
Over the past two years, AOPA has been able to actively save members who own their own aircraft an average of $179.22 per year.
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