The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is urging California legislators to reject changes in two bills that would transfer the excise taxes on aviation fuels from the aeronautics account to the general fund in the next three fiscal years. SB 1005 and AB 1465 were amended on June 14.
The excise tax on general aviation gasoline and jet fuel are the only source of funds for the California Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics and the airport grant programs that it administers, said AOPA in a letter to Darrell Steinberg, President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate. These programs are vital to the safety, maintenance and development of the state’s airports, the letter added.
A 2003 State of California economic impact study attributed 9% of the state gross product and 9% of the state’s jobs to aviation. In 2005, a study sponsored by the National Association of State Aviation Officials found that general aviation contributed more than $150 billion annually to the national economy and $18 billion to the economy of California.
“While funds to support and develop the state’s airport system come from a variety of sources, the state’s own aeronautics program is a vital and essential source of an integral part of the system,” said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA’s vice president of airports and state advocacy. “The sole funding source for state aeronautics programs must be protected and dedicated to that purpose, and we urge you to reject the provisions of both these bills that would divert user-generated funds from the aeronautics account to the general fund.”
For more information: AOPA.org
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