MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
August 2007

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. Members of the House Ways and Means Committee heard from several player in the aviation-taxes/user fee debate in a hearing Wednesday August 1, 2007. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey made her pitch for user fees, telling the committee that "general aviation drives about 16 percent of the costs of the air traffic control system, while only paying about 3 percent of the taxes."

The committee also heard from Gerald Dillingham, Director of the Government Accountability Office, who said the current trust fund system, is already raising enough money to support the FAA without the imposition of user fees.
"Selected proposals for funding aviation activities could generate more revenue, but could also lead to unintended consequences," he said in his report. "For example, a House Committee recommendation to raise general aviation fuel tax rates could increase trust fund revenue, but might reduce fuel purchases, which would limit the amount of the revenue increase." Dillingham also said that when fees are imposed for aviation activities, "care must be taken to ensure that efforts to avoid the fees do not compromise safety."

Joseph Kile of the Congressional Budget Office concluded, "Pricing the air traffic control system so as to provide the appropriate economic incentives to the various sectors of the aviation industry may enable the system to better accommodate the growing demand for air travel." In addition, speaking at the hearing were Phil Boyer, President of AOPA; James May, President of the Air Transport Association; and spokesmen from Delta Air Lines, UPS, Bradley International Airport in Connecticut and winner Aviation, an FBO in Ohio.

Secondly, United States House of Representatives passes the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007 (H.R. 2881), which provides $15.8 billion for the Airport Improvement Program; nearly $13 billion for FAA Facilities & Equipment ("F&E"); $37.2 billion for FAA Operations over four years; increases the Passenger Air Service Program with increases each year from $127 million to $133 million over four years.

Thirdly, Here is an update concerning Missouri Aviation. The only Airport and Aviation Bills are as follows:

94th General Assembly, 1st Regular Session (2007)
Bills Indexed by Subject
AIRCRAFT AND AIRPORTS

HB 118 --- Sponsor: Schaaf, Robert
Specifies the situations in which the Civil Air Patrol may be activated, which missions are federal or state, and who pays for the missions

HB 302 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J. --- CoSponsor: Schaaf, Robert
Relating to State Aviation Trust Funds and air traffic control towers partially funded by the federal government under a cost-sharing program

HB 305 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J. --- CoSponsor: Page, Sam
Increases the limit on the amount deposited to the aviation trust fund to eight million five hundred thousand dollars

HB 529 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J.
Changes the laws regarding the Aviation Trust Fund and air traffic control towers

HB 571 --- Sponsor: St. Onge, Neal C. --- CoSponsor: Schneider, Vicki
Changes the definition of "commercial aircraft" by lowering the maximum certified gross take-off weight from 7,000 to 1,000 pounds

HB 619 --- Sponsor: Aull, Joe --- CoSponsor: Schaaf, Robert
Specifies the situations in which the Civil Air Patrol may be activated, which missions are federal or state, and who pays for the missions

HB 624 --- Sponsor: Wilson, Larry --- CoSponsor: Quinn, Paul
Requires operators of storage facilities to provide documentation for property tax purposes

SB 120 --- Sponsor: Nodler, Gary
Increases the cap on the Aviation Trust Fund and allows the Aviation Trust Fund to be used for certain federal air traffic control cost-sharing programs

SB 602 --- Sponsor: Kennedy, Harry
Creates a sales and use tax exemption for purchases of aviation fuel for transoceanic flights


Note: Here's your web site address for Texas Legislation:
www.texas.gov.
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Note: Here's your web site address for Illinois Legislation:
www.illinois.gov.
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Now, In Conclusion, Remember, we as USPA, MPA, EAA, AOPA, or any other State Pilot Associations of which you may be a member, all have a powerful voice, be it here in Missouri, Indiana, Texas, or whatever state you may represent. Every group of pilots and taxpayers carries a strong voice to Washington, D.C., and on the State and Local Level.

So Let's not forget to exercise our privileges, and continue to make a "Difference for General Aviation."

SAFE FLYING!

Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
E-mail address: MPALHARMON228@aol.com


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