The City of Manassas is considering increasing its tax rate on aircraft based at Manassas Regional Airport by approximately 3,000 percent - an increase that AOPA believes would wrongfully single out aircraft from other types of personal property and negatively impact local pilots and the surrounding business community.
In a letter to city officials, AOPA urged the city to not change its current formula for taxing aircraft at the airport. The city's existing personal property tax on aircraft is 1 cent per $100 of assessed value. During budget deliberations, the city discussed increasing it to as much as 30 cents per $100. More than 300 individuals base their aircraft at the city-owned and -operated airport.
AOPA also underscored the importance of the airport to the growing community.
"The Manassas Regional Airport has become perhaps one of the community's most valuable economic assets," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "Increasing the existing tax rate by 3,000 percent sends a negative message to the local pilots, the business community which has chosen to base airplanes at Manassas, and to aviation users nationwide."
The airport also has received federal grants through the Airport Improvement Program, so AOPA advised the city to research and comply with federal rules regarding the use of revenues collected at public-use airports.
April 20, 2005