Aviation Tax Breaks And Stimulus Money

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Congress has approved a tax break stimulus package targeted at airplane buyers as states get ready to apply $1.1 billion intended for airports as part of the stimulus package signed last week by President Barack Obama. The tax break takes the form of accelerated depreciation and, like the one first used post-9/11 to help manufacturers recover from the economic slump that followed the 2001 terrorist attacks, sharply cuts the initial tax bill for companies that buy aircraft for business purposes by allowing larger early year deductions. The industry has already lost about 11,000 jobs to the slump. Todd Tiahrt, a Republican Representative from Kansas, has seen his state account for some 7,000 of those job losses (mostly from Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft). Tiahrt told The Associated Press, "this is exactly the type of financial incentive that should be included in a stimulus bill." Meanwhile, state governors encouraged by industry advocate groups like AOPA to push lists of airport improvement projects as "shovel ready" stand ready to apply government stimulus money to aviation infrastructure projects from sea to shining sea.

The $1.1 billion investment is meant to create nearly 40,000 jobs and apply those to improvements at the nation's airports. According to AOPA, its influence led Ohio to increase its list of aviation infrastructure projects from $10 million to $38 million and helped guide Nevada to a list of 43 projects totaling $70.2 million.