Facing budget deficits, lawmakers often consider dipping into aviation funds or taxing aircraft for a quick fix. But AOPA and local aviation groups are meeting face-to-face with legislators to explain the importance of investing in aviation for the long term.
New York’s budget woes are as serious as any other state’s—the legislature recently approved an emergency spending measure to keep government running without a budget in place—but a New York Aviation Management Association (NYAMA) legislative day in Albany March 23 gave aviation advocates an opportunity to meet with legislators about the benefits of investing in airports and drawing aviation industry into the state.
NYAMA leadership, AOPA Northeast Regional Representative Craig Dotlo, and Westchester County Airport Support Network volunteer Ken Paskar met with about 70 state representatives, including key leadership, about current issues facing the New York general aviation industry. Legislators are considering a proposed exemption from sales and compensation tax for aircraft purchased in the state and increased funding for New York’s general aviation airports, and throughout the event, many were highly receptive to strengthening and protecting GA activity across the state.
“This may be the toughest state economic environment that AOPA has ever faced--and we are cognizant of that as we deliver our message,” said AOPA Director of State Government Affairs Mark Kimberling. “But legislators also understand the importance of positioning themselves competitively as the economy begins to thaw--and a healthy general aviation industry is a must.”
The New York legislature passed a bill in 2009 to make permanent the state’s current sales-tax exemption on general aviation aircraft maintenance as a way to continue the heightened economic activity and employment in the aviation sector that accompanied the exemption. A new proposal would aim to increase that benefit by adding an exemption for aircraft purchased in the state.