President Obama Resumes Attack on Business Aircraft

 - June 30, 2011, 9:47 AM

In a resumption of his campaign against business aviation, President Obama yesterday called for an end to “tax breaks” for corporate jet owners. The outcry from general aviation quickly followed the White House press conference during which Obama lumped corporate aircraft in with millionaires, billionaires, oil companies and hedge-fund managers as targets for closing “loopholes in the tax code.” NBAA said the President repeatedly denigrated business airplane owners and operators, apparently to make a case that current tax “depreciation schedules” for GA airplanes are too short and should be lengthened. “Nine months ago, this President extolled the virtues of shortening depreciation schedules to stimulate jobs,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “Now he seems to want to reverse course and push ahead with punitive treatment for general aviation, an industry that creates jobs, helps companies succeed and serves communities all around America.” Leaders of other GA organizations also weighed in. Matt Zuccaro, president of the Helicopter Association International, stressed that while all the current rhetoric appears to be directed toward “corporate jets,” any change to the depreciation schedule would apply to pistons, turboprops and rotorcraft.  “Democrats now see elimination of tax breaks and a change in the depreciation schedule for general aviation aircraft as politically attractive,” Zuccaro said in a “Call to Action” to HAI members.