Obama Urged To Abandon User Fees

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A bipartisan group of 195 members of the House of Representatives has signed what NBAA says is a "strongly worded" letter (PDF) opposing the $100-per-leg user fee for turbine-powered aircraft contained in President Obama's 2013 budget proposal. The letter points out that Congress has consistently rejected user fee proposals in the past and likely hasn't changed its collective mind this time. The letter was put together by Reps. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., Tom Petri, R-Wis., along with Reps. Sam Graves, R-Mo. and John Barrow, D-Ga. Costello and Petri lead the aviation subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure while Graves and Barrow co-chair the General Aviation Caucus. The signatories say user fees are the wrong approach to raising revenue from aviation and appeal to the president to "abandon this idea once and for all."

The letter says the fee will hurt aviation. "We should work together to support policies that encourage job growth and strengthen U.S. economic activity," the letter reads. "Imposing a $100 per flight fee on commercial and general aviation is the wrong approach." NBAA says it helped gather the signatures and will continue working the issue on the Hill as part of a unified approach with other aviation groups to maintain the status quo. "The general aviation community has long supported the well-established and efficient fuel tax now paid for use of the aviation system," NBAA said in a news release.