MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
June 2005

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. In late April, the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration invited representatives of the industry trade groups, air carriers, international aviation reps, and others to an alternative funding forum in Washington, D.C. The goal: To help determine how FAA will be funded in the years ahead in light of declining airline passenger ticket tax revenues, the main source of monies for the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.


According to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, the Trust Fund currently accounts for some 80 percent of the agency's funding. The Administration's proposed FY2006 budget calls for that to increase to 88 percent while general tax revenues directed to FAA would be cut from the current $2.8 billion to $1.55 billion in 2006.


In a separate report, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association charges that Trust Fund revenues will actually be rising because of an increase in passenger traffic, and projects that such revenues will jump to $17 billion by 2013.


Secondly, A fight brewing in Washington, D.C., could have profound and far-reaching effects on all who enjoy the freedom of flight in America. As with most arguments in our nation's capital, it's about money; in this case, how to adequately and predictably fund the FAA.


Commercial aviation and the financially struggling airlines favor user fees because they'd like to shed any costs they can, expecting others, including general aviation, to pick up the slack. MPA, USPA, AOPA, EAA, and other general aviation organizations strongly and unanimously oppose user fees, especially without clearly defined system modernization plans and effective cost controls, and accountability for capital improvement programs.


Thirdly, FAA says more money needs to be brought into the system with a "consistent, predictable funding stream." MPA, and USPA contends that if the FAA operations budget was properly funded as intended, out of the general fund, and capital improvements were covered as intended, by the Aviation Trust Fund, then there wouldn't be a funding "crisis."


The trust fund, which is funded by General Aviation fuel taxes and an airline passenger tax, was created to pay for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and Facilities and Equipment (F&E). Day-to-day operations are funded by congressional appropriation taxes. However, in recent years, because of budgetary constraints, the trust fund has been funding large portions of the FAA's operations budget and merely maintaining F&E, not replacing and upgrading. Consequently there is no money for critical capital improvements and the modernization of the National airspace System, which is currently projected to cost upwards of $32 billion.


Fourthly, Here's what you can do as members of MPA and USPA, write and call your Senators and Congressmen tell them General Aviation pays its fair share of taxes, and to Vote for "NO USER FEES." If you want to continue to have the freedom of flight in America. Or you can do nothing, and lose, because you will be taxed for every service funded by the FAA.


Fifthly, Here's an update concerning Missouri Aviation. The only Airports and Aviation Bills are as follows:

93nd General Assembly, 1st Regular Session (2005)

Bills Indexed by Subject
AIRCRAFT AND AIRPORTS


HB 38 --- Sponsor: Jack Jackson
Authorizes an income tax designation to the Airborne Law Enforcement Fund

HB 306 --- Sponsor: Tom Dempsey
Extends the expiration of the aviation jet fuel sales and use tax exemption

SB 169 --- Sponsor: Charles Gross
Renews aviation sales tax until 2010 and technical addition to title section 305.230.

HB 713 --- Sponsor: Nathan Cooper
Extends sunset of transfer of jet fuel tax to the aviation trust fund and increases air control tower funding.

SB 396 --- Sponsor: Jason Crowell
Extends sunset of transfer of jet fuel tax to the aviation trust fund and increases air control tower funding.

SB 498 --- Sponsor: Robert Mayer
Amends sales and use tax exemption for aircraft sales to not-for-profit organizations.

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."

UNTIL NEXT TIME!

SAFE FLYING!

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


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