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Prospect Heights, IL, Mayor Questions Obama Position On BizAv

Chicago Newspaper Publishes Mayor’s Questioning Of White House Business Aviation Rhetoric, Proposals

The mayor of a Chicago, IL suburb lent his voice recently to the others signaling support for business aviation, in light of claims put forth by the White House and its supporters concerning tax policies for business aircraft.

President Obama has repeatedly called for altering the tax-depreciation schedule for non-commercial aircraft purchases from five years to seven years, a move the White House claims would raise approximately $3 billion in revenue over the next decade to help reduce the deficit.

Responding to a March 5 op-ed in the Chicago Tribune favoring the altered schedule, Prospect Heights, IL Mayor Nicholas Helmer countered in a March 30 letter to the newspaper that repeated calls to change the schedule are “one particularly confounding example” of policies that would be “hugely detrimental to the general aviation industry as a whole.

“Not only has this depreciation schedule been in place for 25 years and is consistent with other business investments, but further taxing these aircraft would be extremely harmful to the businesses, farms and charitable groups around the country that rely on these aircraft,” he wrote.

The mayor's response was only the latest in a series of statements from NBAA and other general aviation groups, congressional lawmakers, small business proponents, labor leaders and even media outlets questioning the administration’s characterization of business aviation, and rationale in pushing for the altered depreciation schedule.

“Both parties in Washington need to get serious about addressing our nation's long-term debt crisis,” Helmer’s letter concludes. “However, while vilifying an American industry that is responsible for millions of jobs may score quick political points, it will have many long-term negative consequences at a time when we need to do everything we can to help our nation's businesses to recover.”

FMI: Read the Letter, www.nbaa.org

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