A reinvigorated general aviation advocacy effort may be getting its message across to policymakers in Rhode Island, who acknowledged the aviation community’s opposition to a proposed jet-fuel excise tax at a legislative hearing.
AOPA and local aviation groups opposed the 7-percent tax proposed by the Rhode Island Airport Corporation at the June 5 hearing of the House Finance Committee, pointing out that the proceeds of the tax appeared likely to serve only the state’s air-carrier service airport, Green State Airport in Providence.
“We remain opposed to the bill as written, but we do welcome protections for the GA airports, and RIAC’s recognition of the burden that a new tax would create,” he said. “This acknowledgement also confirms that officials are listening to the GA community and we commend them for that.”
At present fuel prices, the proposed new tax would equate to a 45-cents-per-gallon price increase, “an amount that is uncompetitive and, more importantly, unjustified,” he said, reiterating an objection registered during the previous hearing on the Senate’s version of the bill.
The Rhode Island Pilots Association and the Rhode Island General Aviation Business Owners Association joined with AOPA to present a united front against the measure, and several air carrier representatives also criticized the proposal at the hearing, Collins said.