The Minnesota Legislature is considering these important bills that affect all aircraft owners that lease noncommercial aircraft storage hangars from the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The legislation provides an exemption from the state commercial property tax for leased land on which private noncommercial aircraft storage hangars are located.
The bills sponsored by Representative Andy Westerberg and Senator Stephen Novak are currently in review committees. On February 23, 2000, HB 3782 was introduced to the House and referred to the House Committee on Taxes. On February 21, 2000, SB 3400 was introduced to the Senate and assigned to the Senate Committee on Local and Metropolitan Government for review. Through the swift action of all Minnesota pilots and aircraft owners to support these bills, these bills could pass favorably from these committees, the House of Representatives, and the Senate to ultimately go before the governor for his signature.
House Bill 3782 enhances the state’s commitment toward a viable aviation system based on fair and equitable treatment of all the system’s users. Privately owned noncommercial aircraft storage hangars are currently subject to a commercial property tax, even though these same hangar owners are prevented from conducting commercial activities as defined in their leases with the airport. AOPA strongly believes that general aviation cannot afford actions that unjustly discriminate against its presence in Minnesota. This legislation will ensure that general aviation is treated reasonably and on fair terms.
Pilots and owners are urged to stay informed regarding this legislation and contact their elected representatives and 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. Initially we are concentrating on contacting representatives in the House Committee on Taxes, where HB 3782 is now being considered, and the Senate Committee on Local and Metropolitan Government, where SB 3400 is under consideration.
Be sure that the first line of your letter clearly states that the letter is submitted in strong support of House Bill 3782 and Senate Bill 3400. The bill numbers must be included.
It is important to describe how the current tax affects you personally. You might point out the unjustly discriminatory nature of the tax by charging you for commercial activity that you are not allowed to conduct as described in your own leases. Describe how it is imperative that the state and the Metropolitan Airports Commission treat general aviation fairly and reasonably.
Thank your representative and senator for considering the matter and acting favorably in support of you, his or her constituent.
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 .
Please also send a copy to the sponsors:
Representative Andy Westerberg
10600 University Ave., NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Senator Steven G. Novak
747 Redwood Ln.
New Brighton, MN 55112
March 16, 2000