MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
October 2008

GREETINGS! First, Here is an update from Washington, D.C. User Fees are like a weed you can never kill. That became readily apparent when the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued Federal User Fees: A Design Guide, a 49-page instruction manual to Congress and federal agencies on how to charge for government "services."

User Fees are out of the FAA funding legislation pending before Congress, but if that bill passes, the limited protection against fees would only last for the duration of the bill-about four years.

The GAO created the user fee guide in response to a request from two House Committees, Ways and Means (taxes) and Homeland Security. In addition, it's clear why they asked for it. As the GAO itself noted, "our current long-term simulations of the federal budget show ever-larger deficits. As funds become increasingly scarce and new priorities emerge, policymakers have demonstrated interest in user fees as a means of financing new and existing services."

The GAO said that federal user fee collections have grown some 69 percent since 1999, now accounting for $233 billion into the government's budget.

The guide says that if use of service is "voluntary" (e.g., entrance to a national park) and the benefits of the service accrue to a specific user, then a user fee is appropriate. If the program primarily benefits the public, it should be supported by the general revenue (taxes). And if the program benefits both users and the public, fees and general revenues should be the funding source.

The distinction between a tax and a user fee is not always clear-cut, according to the GAO.
Secondly, International Air Transport Association (IATA) based in Geneva reports total global passenger traffic growth remained flat in July 2008 compared to 2007.

International traffic grew by a modest 1 percent and domestic dropped 1.4 percent. For the first seven months of the year, average worldwide stands at 2.3 percent growth and at 5 percent for international traffic.

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

Missouri House of Representatives
94th General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session (2008)
Bills Indexed by Subject
AIRCRAFT AND AIRPORTS

HB 1495 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J. --- CoSponsor: Sater, David
Changes the laws regarding the Aviation Trust Fund and the funding for certain air traffic control towers

HB 1639 --- Sponsor: Bruns, Mark J. --- CoSponsor: Richard, Ron
Changes the laws regarding the Aviation Trust Fund and air traffic control towers

HB 1760 --- Sponsor: Storch, Rachel --- CoSponsor: Oxford, Jeanette Mott
Requires statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly to report any use of a private plane, the cost of the flight, and all the passengers within 72 hours after the flight

HB 1888 --- Sponsor: Schoeller, Shane --- CoSponsor: Lampe, Sara
Allows cities to annex land within airport zones in Greene County if cities agree to enforce Springfield's airport zoning ordinance

HB 2221 --- Sponsor: St. Onge, Neal C.
Revises the definition of "commercial aircraft" as it relates to the taxation of aircraft by lowering the maximum certified gross take-off weight from 7,000 to 1,000 pounds

HCR 10 --- Sponsor: Scharnhorst, Dwight
Urges Congress to enact legislation to protect airline customers

HCR 43 --- Sponsor: Funderburk, Doug --- CoSponsor: Wells, Don
Urges the United States Air Force to reconsider its decision to replace a Boeing-made refueling tanker with a tanker supplied by a foreign country

HCR 46 --- Sponsor: Darrough, Bruce --- CoSponsor: Smith, Jason
Urges the United States Air Force to reconsider its decision to replace a Boeing-made refueling tanker with a tanker supplied by a foreign country

SB 930 --- Sponsor: Stouffer, Bill
Removes cap on amount of aviation generated revenue that may be deposited in state aviation trust fund and expands purposes for which moneys in the aviation trust fund may be used

SB 943 --- Sponsor: Clemens, Dan
Allows cities to annex land within airport zones in Greene County if cities agree to enforce Springfield's airport zoning ordinance

SB 947 --- Sponsor: Kennedy, Harry
Increases the cap on amount of aviation generated revenue that may be deposited in state aviation trust fund and expands purposes for which moneys in the aviation trust fund may be used

SB 1049 --- Sponsor: Kennedy, Harry
Expands sales tax exemption purchases of tangible personal property used in the repair and maintenance of aircraft

SB 1073 --- Sponsor: Dempsey, Tom
Creates a state and local sales and use tax exemption for defense articles sold to foreign governments




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.

All other states should follow this same format, to search your specific state's aviation and airport bills.

Remember, that as members of USPA, MPA, TPA, TXAA, NMPA, NPA, IPA, EAA, AOPA, or other pilot associations of which you may be a member, we have a powerful voice, in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, or whatever state you may represent. Every group of taxpayers and pilots carries a strong voice to Washington, D.C., as well as at the state and local level.
We need to learn how to use our voices, and speak up for general aviation.

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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