WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, a total of 134 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed letters to the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction — the new Super Committee — and to House and Senate leadership expressing strong opposition to the Obama administration’s proposal to impose a $100-per-flight fee as part of its deficit reducing package.
Representatives Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.), co-chairs of the House General Aviation Caucus, wrote a letter describing how detrimental user fees would be to the recovery and health of the general aviation industry. “General aviation user fees have been proposed several times by different administrations, both Republican and Democrat. The U.S. House of Representatives has repeatedly and overwhelmingly opposed them,” the GA Caucus declared. “We support the current system of aviation excise taxes, which are a stable, efficient, and equitable source of funding. Per flight user fees have crippled the general aviation industry in other countries and we are concerned about the ramifications such fees would have in the U.S.”
A similar letter from the House Subcommittee on Aviation echoed this strong opposition for the user fee proposal. Chairman Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Ranking Member Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) wrote, “Imposing a new fee on the aviation industry in order to raise revenue would have a devastating impact on the aviation industry and fails to achieve our shared goal of improving the economy and creating jobs.”
“We are very appreciative for the bipartisan opposition to a proposal that would place a significant administrative burden on the GA industry and require the creation of costly new federal collection bureaucracy,” said General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We could not ask for greater leadership from Chairman Petri, Ranking Member Costello, House GA Caucus Chairmen Graves and Barrow, and Senate GA Caucus Chairmen Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE). Like their House counterparts, the Senate GA Caucus leadership has been active in rallying their colleagues against these proposals. Together, they have sent a powerful message to the members of the super committee and to the White House.”