Fri, May 28, 2004
Lawmakers Approve Two Laws Boosting General Aviation
In a textbook example of unified
general aviation interests, airports, pilots, and aviation
advocates have put two measures on the desk of Gov. Janet
Napolitano (D-Ariz.) that should significantly increase state
funding for airport safety and capacity improvements and reduce
AOPA Western Regional Representative Stacy Howard and Michael
Racy, the Airport Support Network volunteer for Marana Regional
Airport and a registered lobbyist who represents the Tucson Airport
Authority and Pima County, helped convince lawmakers to use 100% of
the state's aviation-related tax and fee revenues to help fix
general aviation airports. The two also helped win approval for
SB1020, a bill to reduce the state's tax on antique aircraft.
During the budget crunch of the past several fiscal years,
Arizona had diverted approximately half ($7 million to $8 million
annually) of the aviation fuel taxes, aircraft registration fees,
and aircraft property taxes the state collects to the general fund.
Governor Napolitano this year proposed rededicating all those
aviation taxes to help maintain airports — a move strongly
supported by AOPA and this week approved by state lawmakers.
Howard testified before both legislative chambers supporting
SB1020. The measure cuts the tax on an estimated 700 "antique"
aircraft from 0.5% of value to a flat $20 annual fee. AOPA members
in Arizona played a big role, contacting legislators and convincing
them to remove procedural hurdles to the bill's passage.
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