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Minnesota Pilot Action AlertMinnesota Pilot Action Alert

Minnesota Pilot Action Alert

The issue: HB 3782 and SB 3400, Private Aircraft Hangar Commercial Property Tax Relief

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.

Why it's important

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.

What you should do

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.

Who to contact

  1. Write both the House Committee on Taxes and the Senate Committee on Local and Metropolitan Government currently reviewing the bills and your state representative and senator now.

    See lists of all state representatives in Minnesota and the members of the House and Senate committees.

  1. Send a copy to AOPA:

    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
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Senator Steven G. Novak
    747 Redwood Ln.
    New Brighton, MN 55112
    E-mail: [email protected]

  1. Please help us get the word out. Copy and e-mail or mail this notice to your fellow pilots and aviation groups in Minnesota. Print it out and post it at your airport in public locations. Urge your airport manager, members of your airport commission, and your town officials to contact their representatives and senators in the Legislature in support of HB 3782 and SB 3400.

March 16, 2000

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