President Barack Obama on June 29 assailed businesses and individuals who use aircraft to support their business even as he praised the industry that makes those aircraft.
The president claimed that accelerated depreciation, which makes it more cost-effective to purchase a new aircraft, is too generous—that owners can afford to pay more. Accelerated depreciation is one of the tools that the aircraft manufacturing industry has used to dig out of the deep hole created by the worldwide recession in 2008, and made deeper by the president’s disparaging remarks about business aviation at that time.
"We at AOPA are very disappointed in President Obama's statements today concerning raising taxes on private aircraft,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Imposing higher taxes on GA aircraft by lengthening depreciation schedules is inconsistent both with sound economic principles and with the promises of support made by the President's own Secretary of Transportation just a few months ago during a speech in Wichita.
“The use of GA aircraft creates and sustains thousands of American jobs, and GA manufacturing is one of the few sectors that produces much needed U.S. exports—a fact the President himself acknowledged in the same news conference where he derided the use of those aircraft,” continued Fuller.
The president’s remarks also appear to be a reversal of administration policy as outlined just last October. At that time, Obama proposed accelerating depreciation schedules in an effort to encourage businesses to invest by reducing their tax burden on new purchases.
“General aviation aircraft are important to economic growth and activity,” concluded Fuller. “They are used by businesses of all sizes to generate opportunities and create growth—often in communities that aren't easily accessible through other means.”