Biden Administration Proposes Fivefold Jet Fuel Tax Hike For Bizjets


The Biden administration made good on the President’s State of the Union Address promise to raise taxes on business jet operators by raising the federal tax on jet fuel fivefold over the next five years. The White House’s 2025 budget proposal would boost the current tax of 22 cents per gallon to $1.06 by 2030. It’s estimated it would raise $1.1 billion over the five years. The proposal also includes a major funding increase for the FAA, including money to hire 2,000 air traffic controllers.

The fuel tax hike is being championed as a fairness issue by the administration. The background documents say business aircraft account for 7% of FAA airspace workload but the current tax only covers 1% of the revenue into the federal trust fund for aviation and airports. Airline passengers pay a flat $4.50 on each flight and 7.5% excise tax on the fare to pay for the other 99%. The backrounder on the State of the Union address said the administration wanted to make private jet operators “pay their fair share.” In the speech itself Biden send he wanted “end tax breaks for big pharma, big oil, private jets, massive executive pay.” 

Aviation groups responded quickly to the SOTU address and were ready with comments on the budget proposal. NBAA President Ed Bolen reiterated his Thursday stance that private aviation is an important business tool and that most of those flying on the jets are mid-level managers doing company business and not their ultra-rich employers. “The Biden administration’s sweeping plan would hurt business aviation and the jobs and communities that depend on it, and make it harder for U.S. companies to compete in a global economy,” Bolen said.

The National Air Transportation Association hit all of NBAA’s points and also alleged that much of the revenue raised by the aviation fund is diverted to a similar fund for highway projects. “We are concerned that the Biden Administration is failing to account for the billions of business aviation tax dollars that are diverted from the Airport and Airways Trust Fund (AATF) into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF),” said NATA President Curt Castagna. “Such diversion weakens the National Airspace System and could place the safety of the industry at risk.”

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. BOHICA. Elections have consequences.
    Next, they’ll tax 100LL. Then’ll come user fees. THAT will finish off GA, for sure.

    • Somebody needs to remind Biden and Pete Buttigieg lots of people have bought expensive diesel engines to be more green. The pump nozzle can’t distinguish between eco-friendly piston diesel and jets.

      No good deed goes unpunished… the diesel converted propeller pilots thank you Mr president.

  2. If, IF, the money goes to improved facilities it could be a good thing. Don’t both privatize FAA an increase taxes.

  3. Nice. All of a sudden piston fuel and turbine fuel are about to become more equitable. This does not bode well for one of diesel’s major benefits. Unintended consequences are coming in a big way. This could actually boost piston aircraft sales.

  4. Thank God that SOB will be in assisted living this time next year and the country will start down the long path to healing the countless insult and injuries heaped upon it.

  5. Bizjets already pay more than 5x what airlines pay per gallon of Jet-A, and slightly more than the tax on AVGAS. I wonder how much of the FAA airspace workload is military and other government? 1+99 does not seem to account for that, nor for piston GA, which is small, but still part of the pie. There are also other inputs to the Aviation Trust Fund that do not seem to be included in the backgrounder.
    Looking at the FAA’s own reports, the FAA’s expenditures seem relatively independent of air traffic density. During the COVID debacle, air traffic went down (and so too the passenger excise tax) while FAA expenses actually went UP.

    • If you are looking for sound reasoning, you won’t find it. Nothing but vote mongering to the far left.

      • It’s election season, so there’s “vote mongering” to both the far left and the far right. And we all know that regardless of who’s in the WH, Congress mostly ignores the President’s budget anyway.

  6. The proposed tax on business jets is just optics for the base. Both parties have proposed taxes and user fees on GA over the years. As always, our lobbies will prevail and taxes won’t rise or at least not as much as proposed. The real tax on GA will come when the nation addresses climate change. Then, my guess is we’ll get a carbon tax similar to Canada or the EU.

    • The problem with that thinking is that those optics set us on a course. Once on that course, the political folks will use the nickel increase as a ratchet strap to get them to the real goal of a 10-20 fold increase. Congress will have the good sense to set a brick wall against unbridled deficit spending of whoever is holding the reigns of government. But, “in the spirit of compromise, the bi-partisan senate border bill…” was rejected by the congress, who is now being vilified for standing fast on extravagant wishes. None of this will change unless we come to our senses and start electing reasonable people to office. We are little rudders on a huge airship and it will take time to change the course once set. That is the heart of the problem.

      • You can thank the orange god for that “unbridled deficit spending”. Massive tax cuts for the rich and temporary cuts for the rest of us, combined with no real budget reduction.

        Then there’s the million American Covid deaths that he’s largely responsible for by his gross negligence, incompetence and malevolence.

        “Sunshine and bleach”. Insane.

  7. More evidence that Barack Hussein Obama is running the show. He too attacked the use of private aircraft when installed in the WH in 2008, which had catastrophic effects on GA. The only person in the alphabets to stand up to B.O. was Cessna CEO Jack Pelton, who then got sacked by Textron, a major defense contractor and owner of Cessna. Sleepy Joe (his handlers, really) is throwing everything possible into the ring, knowing that his days are nearly over and the Real President Trump will reverse his every action since January 2021. A modern Nero, laughing while Rome burns.

    • Here here. “There is no limit to the wealth of the state, and so there should be no limit to the revenue of the state.”
      – Nero

  8. And, how much do China’s spy balloons, and Mexican cartel drones pay for the use of our airspace?

    • Good one, If government could tax you for air – they will.

      Remember the song “Tax the pennies on your eyes”?

  9. This is good but any goal should be achievable. And since many, if not most, of the legislative purse string holders are bizjet operators themselves or have constituent donors who are, this proposal will likely be tabled as soon as its presented to Biden’s neighbors.

  10. We already pay fuel taxes/federal excise tax and segment fees. Private aircraft simply don’t use the ATC system like the airlines and don’t warrant the cost.

    • I’m curious about this comment: do private biz jets, flying IFR virtually every flight, not use the ATC system as much as, say, a Jet Blue flight on the same route? What would make it different?

      • The JetBlue flight is done almost every day. Airlines have staff that puts flight plans in the ATC system well ahead of time. That is why scheduled airlines always get priority over most business jet flights. Most business jet flights are last minute so they get whatever is left after the scheduled airlines. Very few business jets fly the same route day after day repeatedly. First come, first served. It is mandatory according to the FAR’s for business jets or any other transport category airplane to fly IFR. The scheduled airlines got a break on the ADS-b requirement that business jet operators did not get. There are a lot of business jets that are capable of flying altitudes higher than FL410 that airliners can’t so those higher flying jets don’t use up space the airliners do. If the politicians would quit diverting aviation funds for other purposes we wouldn’t have a ATC funding problem.

  11. Same old same old “We’re gonna make THEM pay their fair share… for OUR insane, unsustainable spending habits. Oh and by the way, here’s a great tip to stretch your budget, you little people peasants. Cereal isn’t just for breakfast anymore.”

  12. This is nothing more than pandering to the left with more hate mongering and division. Just another tax which Biden and those pulling his strings will never get enough of. Why can’t voters realize these taxes are on them? Corporations do not pay taxes. They simply collect the money through increased prices and pass it on. It’s called inflation! In the end it’s the middle class that always pays.

  13. Today’s scary thought: A custom GovBotAI would be perfect at assisting politicians in automating this finding of identifiable groups that (1) have enough money to be worth taxing, (2) have limited inherent voting power, and (3) can be further politically depowered through standard social fragmentation techniques. Ah, the next brave new world awaits!

  14. Raise a billion spend a trillion, the good ol’ democrat way. 2000 more rapidly trained DEI hires controlling air traffic should leave a very sick feeling in any pilot’s plans to fly.

  15. On a much smaller scale, I am like the canary in a mine. My home is in a sanctuary city, in a sanctuary state. Someone (s) running this city was quietly busing in illegal aliens. They received a 90+ page booklet on all the services, etc… they could take advantage of, plus a list of attorneys to represent them if they felt “their rights were violated”. How do I know? I asked the mayor outright. He referred me to the head of the department created, who in turn sent me a copy of the ebook. When I asked, “Who is paying for this?” and “ Are they being check for diseases?” “Is there a quota?” Of course, I got no answer. The average citizen did not know about this, and at least one council member did not know. This happened long before Texas started busing people north. Fast forward, the state decided not to fund the city’s board of education that year. My property taxes, in one quarter, jumped an additional $5,000 bringing my property taxes to close to $20,000 per year. Utilities got add on fees, as well. I don’t even have 1/2 an acre of land. I recently learned, my job position is being eliminated the end of June, because of cutbacks and they do not want to pay my benefits, including health insurance. My home has been in my family 3 generations but I have to sell. Flying for me right now is only in my sleep, asI try to keep in the game with webinars and study material. The middle class is being crushed while we carry the weight of others, and the very wealthy, like the politicians running this country, keep on, keeping on. We, as aviators, cannot lead from the rear. We are being controlled and manipulated, and can’t keep this pace. Yes, I am the canary in the mine, and this is happening everywhere. And as more taxes come, the rich will pass it on tothe consumer, in order to keep operating. Don’t let this dizzying spending run us further into the ground. Speak up when the opportunity rises. Flying will be so heavily regulated. Will we allow future generations to be priced out?

    • Just a few days ago, I saw a study on the cost inflation to get a PPL, Susan. Between 2020 and 2023, the cost went from $9K to $14K … a 50% increase 🙁 . As the remaining existing pilots retire, there’ll be fewer and fewer folks able to afford the avocation. And with airlines now slowing hiring, there’ll be less incentive to go beyond PPL.

  16. I’ve be hearing some version of this since “user fees” were going to kill GA back in the 70’s. It didn’t happen then and it’s not going to happen now. If, three years from now, Taylor Swift and Exxon have to pay 10 cents more for a gallon of Jet-A I’m not going to start a go fund me page for them and I’m certainly not going to shill for them.

  17. Every time Biden (or tetraethyl lead, or airport closures…) gets mentioned, the usual comments about “that SOB”, “hate mongering”, “you little peasants”, “Barack Hussein”, “Real President Trump”, “stop at nothing”, “the opposition” etc. come up.

    The federal budget is a product of congress and not the White House, BTW. That is why both the House and the Senate have Appropriations Committees (which is where the actual budget negotiations take place) and why being the chair of the respective appropriations committee is one of the most powerful positions in the federal government. The federal tax code is also a product of congress and not the WH.

    So, if you want something in the budget (or not in the budget), or in the tax code, write to your senators and representatives. Name calling on this site makes it just another echo chamber on the internet, which seems to be all many commenters care about.

    • Thanks for your objective response.
      My only hope is that all of these commenters, read your reality, and then write to their senators and congressmen. It would be nice for the the NBAA to share its data on who the PAX are on 90% of the business aircraft use, and the purpose of those journeys.

    • A well reasoned reply to the above diatribe. The only thing missing there is blaming the President for gas prices…everyone knows he’s down at the corner Chevron every night conspiring. LOL

    • Yeah … right, R100S. The Supreme Court told him he couldn’t forgive student loans but he figured a way to do it anyways. And just who on the Appropriations committees approved funding of midnight flights to move illegals? In a perfect world adhering to the laws of the land, you’d be right. Unfortunately, these people don’t play by those rules. Claiming they do is myopic. Every nite when I turn on the TV, he’s inventing some new “free” stuff for everyone.

      • Boy, you just don’t understand how law works, do you?
        More ignorance in a group of what should be intelligent individuals.

      • That’s exactly how communism works. Offer everything for free, but then the government needs to take all your possessions and put 80% in their pocket and distribute the 20% left over to the proletariat.

    • It would seem there must be another venue for all the knee-jerk commenters to spew their bile. I agree wholeheartedly R100RS.
      This is an aviation website.

  18. This proposal will never be enacted into law. But it sure gives the grandstand a chance to scream and yell online about it.

    • Yes, but it sets a climate of tolerance for next time. Darn few new huge tax increases happen when proposed. He’s effectively softening the ground.

  19. What the President sends to Congress is his budget PROPOSAL (aka his wish list). It’s like asking your kids what they want for Christmas. As R100RS points out, that gets folded into the real process in the appropriation committees in the House and Senate where the real work gets done. If you want input, talk to your representatives, in person if you can. They all have offices in their districts and usually welcome visitors when they are at home. At the very least, write a letter (yes, a real one, on paper) and have it delivered to the rep’s office. Toss in a little $ as a campaign contribution if you like the guy. You might be surprised at the results.

    • Yes, this will increase a lot of coffers in the political world. Both sides get to skim the bill for the fuel that gets burned on these political fires. Pun intended.

  20. Why do Democrat voters fall for this total BS? I understand the immediate reactions, especially from the actual Taxed Enough Already people (as opposed to the caricature the movement was made into). R100RS makes a good start, but I think he stopped short. All those pointing out it’s not likely get credit.
    Still, why is he even getting credit at all? As far as I can tell, big corporations aren’t going to be hurt by this at all. In fact, they will likely benefit, just as they did from the mid 2000’s tax changes.
    Let’s take a big manufacturer of contraptions and explosives for aggressive coyotes like ACME. They deduct the cost of the fuel with tax from their taxes as an operating expense. Any additional amount will simply lead them to raise prices on Wile E Coyote and his peers who will actually pay the tax. Of course, there will likely be a tax increase on Avgas at the same time. The real target of the tax will mostly not be paying the tax.

    We will.

    This will hurt consumers, aircraft manufacturers, owners, and pilots while being a minor annoyance to the big executives and board members who will enjoy less traffic and a discount on their next jet upgrade.

    Am I wrong?

    Are not the haters in the tax the rich crowd getting played for fools so that the powerful can become more powerful at the expense of everyone else?

    • “Are not the haters in the tax the rich crowd getting played for fools so that the powerful can become more powerful at the expense of everyone else?”

      Yet you ignore the huge rise in net worth of the top 2% compared to the rest of us since ronny raygun got into office and started screwing all the non-wealthy.

      Do you have any understanding of politics or history? Seriously?

  21. We already paid for innovation, modernization and automation so that thousands of new people were NOT needed.

  22. Nothing like a story like this to reveal the political preferences of the AvWeb readership. Not that it was ever much in doubt.

  23. I’ve flown on biz jets. I’ve purchased biz jets and have been involved with selling biz jets. Never met a person in the process that was concerned about a $200.00 lunch. They can afford it and it won’t change their decision making one iota.

  24. I propose the following taxes on Air Force One:
    1. A VIP TFR tax for the inconvenience imposed on GA pilots by not being able to use their home airport while Alzheimer’s Joe sleeps through some oh-so-important meeting about the carbon footprint of a Piper Cub.
    2. A Laptop tax when Alz Joe’s son is flying on AF1.
    3. A China tax when Alz Joe uses TikTok on AF1.
    4. A Helium tax when AF1 flies close to a spy balloon.
    5. A Dumba$$ tax any time Alz Joe opens his mouth on AF1.
    6. A New Green Deal tax when AF1 is refueled.
    7. A Renewable Energy tax when the 10,000 mile long electric extension cord in the tail of AF1 reaches the end of its rope.
    8. An Obama tax when hot air comes out of the APU while AF1 sits on the ramp.

    • You really need a better grasp of reality.

      Do you really think trump gives a d**n about you? He has a lifelong history of lying, stealing, cheating and refusing to pay his bills.

      Are you really that naive?

          • Either a troll or someone who listens to mainstream media and actually thinks it is true facts, but we know the real story.
            It’s sad that so many people have lost their critical thinking skills and believe whatever they are told.
            We need to protect GA from fake news and fake science.

  25. I think it’s long past time that AvWeb implemented and enforced some guidelines on comments. I, and I’m sure others as well, have more thoughtful and well-informed sources of information and analysis than all this spittle-flecked hangar talk, which serves only to pollute useful conversation and debases AvWeb.

  26. Imagine that you’re charged with securing the White House. And, as part of that security, you decide to check the IDs of everyone walking through Lafayette Park. Would it be reasonable to charge the pedestrians for an ID check? Or, should the White House (the organization receiving the benefit of the ID check) pay the bill?

    That’s the same issue facing General Aviation. The FAA and military provide varying levels of service at different airports. These services are not distributed based on general aviation traffic volumes. They are distributed based on the number of airline and military operations.

    Consider the state of Maine, with 49 public use airports. The state has no Class B airports, two Class C airports, no Class D airport, four Class E surface areas, and 43 Class G surface areas. In terms of traffic, the two Class C’s are #1 and #5 respectively. Both have airline services and one (#5) has a substantial amount of military activity. Of the four Class E surface areas (#6, #7, #14 and #18 in terms of traffic), all but one (#14) have either Airline or Essential Air Services. This pattern repeats in other states.

    So, why don’t #2, #3 and #4 get Class C airspace? Why don’t the balance of #6 through #18 get Class E? The FAA may spend 7% of its ATC dollars handling corporate jets, but it’s doing so to benefit the airlines. Shouldn’t the airlines be the ones paying?

  27. There seems to be a misconnect here. The current administration shut down much of the domestic oil production in America and denied US companies from making more money. The more money US companies make the more they pay in taxes. Then you want to buy the same product from foreign sources giving profits to foreign companies. You don’t get any revenue from foreign companies into the US treasury. Now you want to increase taxes on US operators, not airlines, to increase treasury revenue so you can give it to government agencies. You punished US oil companies and now you want to punish US operators to make up for the revenes you lost by your own actions. This makes no sense at all. Jet fuel is higher than a Chinese Spy Balloon right now, give America a break.

  28. Will AOPA oppose this tax hike? Why do we need to hire more ATC people? Is there a shortage? I’ll willing to bet such a tax hike will not result in revenue for anything other than funding politicians’ pockets.

  29. AVweb, Russ Niles, and others, there are elements of vile political commentary in here. Some of the comments include derogatory language, personal attacks against commenters, and inflammatory remarks aimed at political figures and parties. For example, there are derogatory references to President Biden, including name-calling (“Alzheimer’s Joe”) and dismissive language (“Sleepy Joe”), “Thank God that SOB will be in assisted living…”. Additionally, there are disparaging remarks directed towards supporters of certain political ideologies, characterized as “liberal trolls.” Overall, these comments contribute to a hostile and divisive tone rather than engaging in constructive dialogue or debate. There’s got to be a balance. Either let it remain as a “bar fight”, or moderate for responsible discourse.

  30. Will Biden’s proposal to impose a tax on business jets spell doomsday for General Aviation?
    Absolutely not! While some may attempt to leverage this as a political platform, and granted, Biden’s tax proposition could complicate matters for Bizjet operators, it’s highly improbable, and frankly absurd, to suggest that it will bring the General Aviation sector crashing down. This industry has faced challenges in the past, and its key players are adept at adapting to new circumstances. Furthermore, let’s not overlook the unpredictable nature of Congress. Whether this tax proposal becomes a reality hinges on the ever-shifting political dynamics and the decisions of our lawmakers. So, until then, don’t get your panties in a waddy. Keep flying on!