AOPA President Phil Boyer this week called on Ohio Governor Bob Taft to exercise his line-item veto and eliminate an 800-percent increase in the state's registration fee for general aviation aircraft included in the state's budget bill.
AOPA had successfully lobbied against the fee increase in the state senate's version of the budget, but it was reinserted during a late-night negotiating session at the Ohio statehouse to reconcile the Senate version with the House bill.
"It appears that Governor Taft intends to wait a few days so he can consider individual line items before signing the bill," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We are emphasizing that this measure is grossly unfair to the average general aviation pilot.
"That pilot has been paying about $12 to register his single-engine four-seat aircraft," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "He's now going to have to pay $100; exactly the same as a major airline would for a 747 or an Airbus 340."
If the fee increase is signed into law, there is some small consolation. AOPA did convince lawmakers to add a provision that will guarantee that funds raised will be used only for aviation programs.
"The money would go into a county airport maintenance fund," said Boyer. "That would generate over half a million dollars over the next two years and help make up for funds cut from the state's aeronautics budget."