AOPA has called on Ohio Governor Bob Taft (R-Ohio) to protect general aviation by exercising his line item veto power. Lawmakers in that state have approved a budget bill that would boost the registration fee for the average GA aircraft more than 800 percent. AOPA wants Taft to reject the change and keep registration fees structured the way they are now.
In a letter to Taft, AOPA President Phil Boyer said, "As Ohio celebrates 100 years of aviation, do not let the birthplace of aviation become the first state to tax it out of existence."
Under current Ohio law, aircraft registration fees are determined with a sliding scale based on seating capacity. The owner of a Cessna 172, for instance, now pays $12. A Gulfstream V owner pays $85. Under the new law, the 172 owner and the Gulfstream V owner would both pay $100.
"State aircraft registration is an ineffective means of government financing," Boyer asserts. "Attempting to fund aviation maintenance and repair through raising aircraft registration fees will cause aircraft operators to register their aircraft in neighboring states with more attractive fee schedules."
By comparison, Ohio's automobile registration fee is $23. For boats, the fee is scaled and runs from $5 for a small rowboat to $31, still well under the proposed fee for aircraft, for the largest boats.
Boyer concluded his letter to Taft, saying, "Your support for aviation can be demonstrated by utilizing your line item veto authority on the aircraft registration fee increase proposal in the budget bill before you."