User-Fee Idea Just Won’t Go Away
GA groups united for action
Just like several years ago, when GA successfully fought user fees, EAA will be distributing buttons at AirVenture In Oshkosh next week. You can pick up your “Answer’s still the same: NO TO USER FEES!” button at the EAA Welcome Center.
July 20, 2011 –Like a bad reality series, the concept of establishing user fees on GA operations seems to keep returning to the table. This time, the idea re-emerged during deliberations between Congress and the White House on raising the federal debt ceiling, which have been deadlocked for much of July.
This week, EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower joined other GA organization leaders in signing a letter to Congress raising concern about the possibility of user fees as part of the debt ceiling negotiations. The GA groups are asking their combined memberships to contact their elected federal representatives in opposition to user fees, and have issued a joint statement outlining their unified position.
Along with calling GA user fees a “resoundingly discredited approach to raising revenues,” the letter states, “Over the past five years, both chambers of Congress have carefully considered new aviation user fees and overwhelmingly rejected them. We see no reason to override the will of committee and other congressional policymakers in the context of debt ceiling negotiations.”
General aviation already pays its fair share toward aviation infrastructure through federal fuel taxes, which were proposed to increase as part of the FAA reauthorization process in recent years. Keeping those funds dedicated to aviation facility and technology improvements would provide a revenue stream adequate to fund FAA’s future needs.
The renewed possibility of GA user fees will be one point of emphasis during next week’s EAA AirVenture fly-in, with information and presentations open to aviators who want to know more about the issue and opportunities for action.
In the mean time, EAA is asking members to contact their Senators and Representatives to voice concern over the re-emergence of a user free proposal, and clearly articulate the efficiency and success of the fuel excise tax system of revenue collection that has existed for decades. Debt ceiling deliberations are ongoing and the deadline is looming for a resolution, so fast action is needed to have an impact on the discussions and debate.