AOPA works for members at the state and local level across the United States. Catch up on what the association has done for you recently in the Central Southwest region.
Lawmakers in New Mexico have extended payments from gross tax receipts into the state aviation trust fund. AOPA Central Southwest Regional Manager Yasmina Platt was instrumental in supporting the legislation, which keeps the payments going to 2021. The trust fund receives about $1.1 million per year from its share of the gross tax receipts. The money is used to pay for improvements at the state’s 59 publicly owned, public-use airports. Platt will talk to airport managers and consultants about how to market their fields and provide the amenities pilots are looking for when selecting destination airports and FBOs during the New Mexico Aviation Conference set for May 11 through 13. AOPA helped sponsor the #NextGen Aviation Festival in Conroe, Texas, in March. Numerous AOPA representatives attended to host a booth, present for different seminars, and display an AOPA Reimagined Aircraft. In Louisiana, two bills that could have hurt aviation died with the close of the state’s special legislative session on March 9. Strong AOPA member response helped derail a plan to eliminate the state sales-and-use tax exemption on airplanes more than 25 years old. Ambiguity in the bill’s language also could have eliminated the property tax exemption on all privately owned and operated aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of less than 6,000 pounds. The second bill would have put an end to at least 180 different sales-and-use-tax exemptions in Louisiana, including most aviation-related exemptions. While both bills died in special session, the issues could re-emerge during the regular session and AOPA will continue to be vigilant in protecting member interests. In Missouri, Platt was scheduled to attend Aviation Day at the Capitol and speak about general aviation issues at the Missouri Aviation Conference. She was also set to take part in the Oklahoma Airport Operators Association conference April 17 through 20.