A provision inserted into a 2005 highway bill that has given business and general aviation fuel purveyors a collective headache ever since it was enacted might be repealed in the next highway reauthorization bill. Thirty-two members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asking that the provision be deleted from new highway legislation now under consideration.
Airport and Airway Trust Fund
With the House of Representatives scheduled to vote this week on H.R.7, a Federal Highway Administration reauthorization bill, NATA is lobbying to get a provision included in the bill that would repeal the “onerous fuel fraud tax.” The fuel fraud provision, which was included in a 2005 FHA bill, changed the collection of taxes for noncommercial aviation jet fuel and required the funds to be deposited into the Highway Trust Fund.
The failure of Congress to agree on an extension of the FAA’s operating authorization by July 23 forced the agency to furlough nearly 4,000 employees and issue stop-work orders on projects ranging from the construction of new towers to the rehabilitation and modernization of ATC facilities because the agency was no longer authorized to access the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned last month that the excise taxes that feed the Airport and Airway Trust Fund have been lower than previously forecast, while estimates of future revenues have declined because of a drop in passenger traffic, fares and fuel consumption. Meanwhile, the uncommitted balance in the trust fund has been decreasing since Fiscal Year 2001.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned this week that the excise taxes that feed the Airport and Airway Trust Fund have been lower than previously forecast, while estimates of future revenues have declined because of a drop in passenger traffic, fares and fuel consumption. Moreover, the uncommitted balance in the trust fund has been decreasing since Fiscal Year 2001.
The Senate Finance Committee has approved a bill that would repeal the onerous “fuel fraud” provision enacted into law as part of the 2005 Highway Bill. Although the law dealt with surface transportation, it contained a provision that aviation jet fuel taxes be collected at the highway diesel fuel rate of 24.4 cents per gallon as opposed to the aviation rate of 21.9 cents per gallon.
Business aviation lobbyists yesterday applauded recent action taken by Republican lawmakers to shelve new tax rules in the 2005 Highway Bill designed to discourage truckers from using jet fuel to avoid higher taxes on diesel fuel. At the request of NBAA, NATA and GAMA, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Ark.), Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) sent letters to U.S.
Business aviation groups welcomed a letter from the FAA assistant administrator for aviation policy to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service asking him to suspend implementation of new fuel tax rules that would impose a “significant administrative burden” on general aviation businesses and “create financial risk for the Airport and Airways Trust Fund.” The new rules would raise the tax rate on jet fuel to that of costlier highway di
In a report released early last month, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said policy decisions by the Bush Administration, not inadequate revenues, are causing the declining balance in the Aviation Trust Fund.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) is urging Congress to resist all attempts to “raid” the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, including airline industry calls for new tax breaks, and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) reiterated its preference for having general aviation contribute to the fund through taxes on aviation fuels.
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