Obama Runs User Fees Up FY10 Budget Flagpole

 - March 4, 2009, 9:32 AM

A line in President Obama’s 134-page budget for Fiscal Year 2010 has put general aviation lobbyists on high alert. Page 129 contains a notation that “the budget proposes repealing some aviation excise taxes and replacing these taxes with direct user charges.” NBAA said it is “very troubled” by the budget outline because it appears to leave the door open to consideration of aviation user fees for funding the FAA. NATA expressed hope that Congress will reject the user fee proposal as it has done previously. According to NATA president Jim Coyne, “I agree with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman James Oberstar [D-Minn.], who said, ‘The current system of aviation excise taxes has proved to be a stable and efficient source of funding for our aviation system.’” Even though few details were released, AOPA said it was “concerned” because the “user charges” would total some $7 billion in 2011, or about half of the FAA’s total budget.