From Brian Weiler
Director of Aviation
Missouri Department of Transportation
Friends of Missouri Aviation:
I have been receiving calls about the status of the jet fuel sales tax bill.
As I mentioned in an earlier e-mail, the original senate jet fuel bill (SB 968) was rolled into a larger transportation bill about a month ago, which is SB 970.
This bill also makes permanent a 6-cent per gallon motor fuel tax (not an increase) and raises some fees on billboards on roads. At that time, I said it was yet to be seen if combining us into a larger transportation bill was good or bad for aviation. As it turns out, I think it was a good thing because SB 970 was passed by the full Senate on Wednesday and now goes to the House for consideration.
The aviation part of SB 970 does several positive things for aviation, which generally are as follows; (1) extends the current transfer of jet fuel revenue to the state aviation trust fund for 5 more years until 2008, (2) changes the grant match ratio from 80% state / 20% local to 90/10 to help smaller airports and match federal aviation programs, and (3) removes the current $5 million annual cap on aviation funds that can be deposited in the aviation trust fund.
FYI, aviation lost out on approximately $130,000 last year because we exceeded the $5 million cap.
Many people have asked me to tell them when is the best time to support aviation legislation. This is it!!! The legislature just started their spring break and will be home in their districts for the next week.
The Senate has already passed it so the pressure is needed on the House side. Local airport and pilot support for this bill could make the difference.
If you support this legislation, now is the best time to contact your member of the House of Representatives and tell them to support SB 970 and fight against additional amendments to the bill.