The Michigan Legislature will soon consider two important bills that affect pilots, aircraft owners, FBOs, flight schools, and airports throughout the state. These two bills will dedicate a significant amount of the revenue derived from existing sales tax on aviation products directly to the state aeronautics fund. These funds will be used to improve Michigan’s airport system. The Senate Committee on Finance is currently considering these two bills. The bills supplement existing revenue to the state aeronautics fund from fuel sales and aircraft registration fees. AOPA strongly supports Senate Bill 1194 and Senate Bill 1195 and urges all Michigan pilots and aircraft owners to act now.
These important proposals provide Michigan airports required funding to address their needs for the next 20 years. According to the 2000 Michigan Airport System Plan (MASP), the cost of keeping Michigan’s airport system running safely and efficiently through 2020 is estimated at $115 million per year. Without the additional funding as proposed by Senate Bill 1194 and 1195, state funding will be short approximately $37 million annually. The additional funds provided by Senate Bill 1194 and 1195 are needed to preserved endangered airports, address current deficiencies, bring airports within standards, and preserve and expand airport infrastructure. Furthermore, the availability of state funds for airport development is directly linked to the state’s ability to acquire federal funds through the matching process as part of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and leverage local and private airport funding as well.
We urge you to contact the Senate Committee on Finance and your elected state senators, asking them to vote in support of these bills. Letters and faxes are most effective, but e-mail and phone contacts are useful too. First, please be sure that the first line of your letter clearly states that the letter is submitted in strong support of Senate Bill 1194 and Senate Bill 1195. The bill numbers must be included. It is especially important to describe how the increase in state airport funding is important and affects you personally. Then describe how additional funding will help build strong businesses and airports in Michigan.
If you mail, fax, or e-mail your views on this issue to your elected officials, please do send a copy to AOPA State Legislative Affairs, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701, fax: 301/695-2214 .
April 7, 2000