Idaho governor calls on President to protect GA

The Alliance for Aviation Across America released a letter today from Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to President Obama asking the administration to recognize the vital importance of general aviation for the economy and communities across the state of Idaho and country.

Governor Otter specifically highlighted the need to protect this industry against burdensome taxes that would harm the general aviation industry and negatively impact the economy.

He joins a growing list of state and local officials who have highlighted the need to protect general aviation. In February, more than 100 mayors from 48 states sent a letter to President Obama denouncing attacks on general aviation, and calling on the President to highlight the importance of the industry for communities around the country. In addition, 37 states around the country have passed proclamations recognizing the importance of aviation and general aviation in particular.

The letter from Governor C.L “Butch” Otter to President Obama is below:

Dear Mr. President,

I write to ask for your support in recognizing the vital importance of general aviation. It has a fundamental role in our nation’s economy – especially to rural and lightly populated states like Idaho. General aviation supports more than 1 million jobs nationwide, and needs your help now.

As one of the few manufacturing sectors that contribute to the balance of trade, general aviation has been hit hard by the economic downturn with the loss of more than 20,000 aviation-sector employees.

For all states, including Idaho, general aviation represents a critical connection to economic opportunity and global markets. What’s more, general aviation plays a crucial public role every day through crop protection, disaster response, law enforcement, or critically needed services such as blood, organ or patient transportation.

The bottom line is that raising taxes on critical sectors of our economy will do us more harm than good by putting more jobs at risk. I encourage you to join me in opposing the new “user fee” taxes that will be placed on general aviation operators.

Thank you for keeping our concerns and the concerns of our citizens and businesses in mind, and for your positive consideration of this issue.

As Always – Idaho, “Esto Perpetua”

C.L.”Butch”Otter, Governor of Idaho

Formed in 2007, the Alliance for Aviation Across America is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition of over 5,800 individuals representing businesses, agricultural groups, FBOs, small airports, elected officials, charitable organizations, and leading business and aviation groups that support the interest of the general aviation community across various public policy issues.


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  1. Rod Beck says

    To gbin: There are those who will never “get”it” - I guess your one or would you prefer I bright this down to a kindergarten level? Sorry, and no, I wasn’t an Enlish or Journalist major like your egotistical self! ps Did I pass your grammar exam?

    • gbin says

      I’d just prefer that you took enough time to write your comments so that I and others can understand them and reply to them accordingly, if that is your goal.  Pretty much the only part of the last paragraph of your previous post that I thought I actually understood was “ANYONE disagree?”, which seemed to me to be asking for replies. – but if I was wrong and you didn’t really want to know whether anyone disagreed, I apologize.  I assure you that I wasn’t trying to pick a fight with you.

      In any event, I don’t particularly care if your spelling and grammar is correct.  I was just trying to tell you that your previous comment was so carelessly written that I (and I assume others) couldn’t understand what you were trying to say, but hey, if that doesn’t matter to you, I suppose it shouldn’t matter to anyone else, either.

  2. Rod Beck says

    Genlemen, Gentlemen, Please! Enough of this political finger pointing,ect. Want a real SOLUTION?

    We all agree on this, unless your a “dyed in the wool” socialist; there would be no USA if everyone BOUGHT nothing – right? I think the “american consumer” greatly out numbers ALL the politians in Washington, State, and municipal, etc But, why do we ALLOW them to dictate our lifes?

    Notice lately how more and more canidates runnning for office.i.e. The “Oval Offfice” are toking their business credentials/experience? What is that? Because they know, just like US, that government is really not that differient than ANY busines enterprise; it has income and expenses - WE provide the income – they provide the expenses!

    Would Warren Buffett make the financial (poor) decisions that a certain leader makes – of course not – HELLO! The problem is a simple one; since this economy works on a principal of “nothing happens until SOMETHING is sold” – isn’t this WHY we have a stagnet economy – no one is buying OR selling anything!

    I don’t think anyone with half or even a quarter of a brain would not agree that government spending is “out of control”! Why – ITS NOT THEIR MONEY – IT’S OURS!

    As long as we continue to elect “leaders” (Boy Scouts excluded) who are trained lawyers, (you just had an accident – call MY office!) and have no comprehension how the ecomony REALLY works, I’ll give this society another 30 years at best. OK, OK – use your Visa, Master Card or American Express- Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize your ALREADY over your limit!

    Answer; we need like yesterday, to get more businessmen/women in office who can relate and indentify with ALL business, with the exception of the few (minority who are civil servants) - who are employed by corporate giants or the corner pizza palor – ANYONE disagree?

    • gbin says

      What you’re saying would have to make some kind of sense for one to be able to agree or disagree.  Try writing a bit more slowly and then proofreading before submitting to see whether what you’ve written actually says what you meant it to say.  That last paragraph in particular is downright inscrutable.

  3. Tebrown42 says

    It’s not a cost shift, as they are not removing the other taxes. They’re simply adding a new one. For those in favor of it, ask them to do the same for automobiles. $5.00 to be collected at every on-ramp, every time they use public roads. That’s basically what this is. To simulate the collection method, we could put in a horribly expensive RF ID system that would bill people monthly based on each RF ID receiver they pass. That would add to the bureaucratic nightmare similar to what they’re proposing for aviation.

  4. Bfinn says

    This is not a budget issue its a cost shifting plan. There are taxes in place on General Aviation that have worked well over time and are relatively effecient to collect. The administration would like to replace that system with a complicated plan that would cost a lot more introduce a lot of uncertainty and unpredictability. For this they get nothing just more goverment and fewer private sector jobs.

    • gbin says

      More political nonsense, with a touch of conspiracy nuttiness thrown in.  Government jobs were lost at a much greater rate than were private sector jobs in the recent economic upheaval, and government jobs are also returning much more slowly than are private sector jobs as the recovery progresses.  This is at least partly by design, as politicians in general have (intelligently and foolishly) taken up the cause for smaller government.

  5. gbin says

    More political nonsense about “attacks on general aviation,” I see.  Previous administrations – both Republican and Democratic – have promoted similar fees/taxes in the past; do you absurdly think they’ve all got something against general aviation?  It’s a budgetary issue, not a personal vendetta.

    • mtloewen says

      Far from ‘political nonsense’.  All Governor Otter is asking is that we don’t kill general aviation as has been done in virtually every other country in the world, but most especially the countries that make up Europe. 

      I don’t believe politicians have anything against general aviation.  Just like I don’t believe that they have anything against the economy.  However, as we can all see, their well-intentioned actions on the economy have been an unmitigated disaster. And I believe that changing the way we fund the FAA to landing fees, etc will have a serious negative impact on general aviation.

      Finally, in this economy, do we really want to endanger one of the last industries where we actually make something and export to other countries.  Aerospace is the final, last bulwark of manufacturing this country has.  Let’s keep it that way.

      • gbin says

        I quoted the author of this report using rhetoric about “attacks on general aviation,” as she and other writers have done here before concerning fees/taxes the Obama administration has proposed – THAT’S the political nonsense I was pointing out.

        In contrast to this report, the letter by Governor Otter that it contains was well written.

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