May 26, 2004 — Tennessee legislators have sent Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-Tenn.) — himself a private pilot — legislation (SB3454) that prevents the state's aviation fuel tax from doubling next year.
Lawmakers inadvertently raised the fuel tax from 4.5% to 9.5% last year when they passed a tax reform package as part of a nationwide Streamlined Sales Tax initiative but forgot to include an industry-specific exemption.
AOPA Southeast Regional Representative Bob Minter worked throughout the current legislative session to ensure that the issue was addressed and that general aviation pilots would not have to bear the consequences of the legislature's mistake by paying higher fuel taxes.
"Bob's years of building personal relationships with officials across Tennessee really paid off for our members and demonstrates the kind of unique skills our entire regional representatives corps provide," said AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Roger Cohen. "He knew what to do, and who to talk to, in order to prevent a tax hike on general aviation pilots."