NBAA responds to new BizAv tax policies
April 24, 2013, Washington, D.C. - National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today responded to legislation offered by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), which would single out one industry, general aviation (GA), for a change in its established depreciation schedule.
The change proposed by the senator would apply to long-standing tax-depreciation schedules for the purchase GA aircraft, which are used by businesses, farms, medical-care providers, flight schools and emergency responders to connect communities and grow small and mid-sized companies across the U.S.
“Proposals like this one appear to put politically charged rhetoric ahead of serious policies for addressing the nation’s deficit, including the challenges posed by sequestration,” Bolen said. “As major news outlets, members of Congress and others have suggested, there is no ‘loophole’ involved in tax policies on aircraft purchase or a host of other business assets – instead, such policies were recommended by the IRS decades ago, made into law by Congress in the 1980’s, and apply to everything from computers, to cars, to aircraft. The idea behind such policies is to encourage American businesses to continually upgrade the products they use, so they can remain competitive, especially in today’s highly competitive global marketplace.
“We agree with Sen. Gillibrand that America needs a strong air transportation system that includes controllers and air traffic control towers, and a number of congressional lawmakers have raised valid questions about the necessity of the actions taken by the Federal Aviation Administration to comply with sequestration. Until it can be determined whether reprogramming of funds can be done to keep controllers on the job and towers open, it seems unwise to push a path of political expediency, at a time when the business aviation community continues to struggle in a very difficult economic environment.”
Earlier this year, the FAA announced it would close many air traffic control towers and furlough controllers, in response to government “sequester,” or curtailment of annual spending at federal agencies. In the time since that announcement was made, NBAA officials have met with the FAA numerous times to discuss their concerns about the agency’s plans, and in March, Bolen sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta reiterating the association’s concerns and offering suggestions to help mitigate the sequester’s impact on aviation. NBAA has since supported numerous House and Senate proposals for keeping the towers open, and recently signed on to an aviation-industry coalition letter petitioning the White House to provide the FAA with the funding flexibility it needs to avoid one-day-per-pay-period furloughs of essential air traffic control personnel.