The efforts of AOPA members have helped ensure that two bills harmful to general aviation went nowhere in a recent special legislative session in Louisiana.
A state Senate bill that would have made it more expensive for the majority of pilots and aircraft owners to fly was allowed to expire after AOPA members contacted lawmakers opposing the measure. SB 19 would have eliminated a state sales-and-use tax exemption on airplanes more than 25 years old. Even worse, ambiguity in the bill’s language 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 measure made it through committee and was slated to be considered by the full Senate on several occasions but consistent opposition from AOPA Regional Manager Yasmina Platt and AOPA members in the state helped prevent the measure from coming to a vote before the special session ended March 9.
“On two separate occasions we called on our members to take action against this tax bill,” said Platt. “They responded in large numbers both times, and that made all the difference.”
A second bill, SB 25, would have put an end to at least 180 different sales-and-use-tax exemptions in Louisiana, including most aviation related exemptions. Once again, Platt warned lawmakers about the negative consequences of the proposal and although the measure passed the full state Senate, it was never considered by the House Ways and Means Committee.
“I want to thank AOPA’s members for their grassroots efforts to defeat both of these dangerous proposals. With their help, both proposals died when the legislature adjourned from its special session, but bad ideas have a funny way of coming back,” said Platt. “It’s not the first time we’ve seen legislation like this in Louisiana and it probably won’t be the last. So we’ll continue to be vigilant and take swift action if we see any bills that could harm GA emerge in the upcoming regular legislative session beginning Monday, March 14.”