Mayors from seven different states have sent a letter to President Obama voicing their disappointment with recent comments regarding general aviation and potential, additional tax burdens on businesses, individuals and groups that rely on GA. The local officials joined a growing group of businesses and organizations that have highlighted the negative repercussions of the President’s comments on the GA industry.
The text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. President:
We write to express our deep concern regarding your recent comments about general aviation, which not only mischaracterized these aircraft and their crucial importance for our economy, but suggested an increased tax burden for general aviation operators. General aviation is a vital part of our economy and national infrastructure, and we are extremely concerned about the repercussions of your statements on an already struggling industry.
General aviation is an economic engine for our national economy, supporting 1.2 million America jobs, over $150 billion in economic impact annually. These aircraft and the airports they utilize are a literal lifeline to thousands of communities across our nation, providing access to business growth, law enforcement, disaster relief, medical care and other services. They are utilized to train young pilots, reunite veterans back from overseas with their families, help to transport blood and organs to residents in rural communities, and help our companies to reach customers in markets that otherwise could not be reached.
As you know, the vast majority of businesses and organizations that own and utilize general aviation are not wealthy CEOs. Rather, they are small to mid-sized businesses and organizations that rely on these aircraft to reach far-off plants and customers, serve rural markets without access to commercial aviation, or deliver medical care and other services. We can tell you firsthand that these aircraft are a crucial tool and resource for businesses in our communities; businesses that keep our communities afloat and help workers to be able to continue to put food on their table for their families.
At such a vulnerable time for our economy, we need to be doing everything we can to support this vital industry. We stand ready to work with you and Members of Congress on this and all issues related to communities and local economies around the nation.
Mayor Carl Brewer Wichita, Kansas
Mayor Mary Ann Maynard Stuttgart, Arkansas
Mayor Steve Van Oort Ankeny, Iowa
Mayor Matt Bemrich Fort Dodge, Iowa
Mayor Dick Kirchoff Le Mars, Iowa
Mayor Robert C. Willey Easton, Maryland
Mayor Dave McGirr Huron, South Dakota
Mayor Dave Hahn Wall, South Dakota
Mayor Margaret Larson Arlington, Washington
Mayor Bob Goedde Chelan, Washington