AOPA is letting Michigan officials know they'll have a fight on their hands if they try to increase aircraft registration fees. The state aeronautics commission is considering doubling the fee - but not until after the elections. State legislators would have to approve the tax hike.
There seems to be scant justification for the increase.
Michigan officials told AOPA Regional Representative Bill Blake that they need to increase the registration fee to cover the cost of collecting it - some $250,000 a year.
"It's hard for me to believe it costs that much to register 7,500 aircraft," said Blake. "If it's true, think how much the state could save by eliminating the fee entirely."
Blake is talking to a range of state officials and making it clear that if they ask the legislature for the tax increase, AOPA will ask its 13,000 Michigan members to oppose it.
"This is part of an alarming trend among state aviation departments," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "Many have had budget cuts in the past few years, so they look for 'revenue enhancements' to maintain their bureaucracy.
"AOPA supports reasonable taxes that fund maintenance and improvements to the aviation infrastructure. We'll fight anything that smacks of increased taxes to maintain the bureaucracy."
August 5, 2004