Aviation-Labor Coalition Warns of Harm from Tax Proposals Targeting Business Aviation

A diverse coalition of aviation and labor organizations have joined in opposing proposals in the Biden Administration’s fiscal year 2025 budget and regulatory changes that single out business aviation.

Following a troubling State of the Union reference to general aviation, President Biden recently unveiled an FY25 budget plan that includes a five-fold fuel tax increase on business aviation, as well as changes to the depreciation schedule for a purchased business aircraft, from five to seven years.

The groups’ March 14 letter was sent to U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-8-Mo.) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-1-Mass.).

Signing the letter were the leaders of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) and Vertical Aviation International (VAI).

“According to a 2018 Harris Poll, 85% of companies relying on an airplane to meet their transportation challenges are small and mid-size enterprises,” the groups wrote. “The passengers aboard a business airplane are typically technicians, mid-level managers and customers, not C-suite executives.”

Read the Coalition Letter

Those companies use business aviation to optimize efficiency, productivity and flexibility, the letter continued. Additionally, further levies would harm communities that depend on business aviation for essential lift and to support law enforcement, medevac and humanitarian operations utilizing business aircraft.

Negative tax proposals would also adversely impact an industry that supports 1.2 million jobs and contributes nearly $250 billion to the country’s gross domestic product. The coalition further warned of their impact to the industry’s continued role as “an innovation incubator” driving the aviation industry’s advancement toward greater safety, sustainability and net-zero carbon emissions.

“The health and livelihood of our industry is dependent on having an effective, reliable, and conducive regulatory and business environment,” the coalition continued. “Harmful tax proposals go in the wrong direction.

“Rather than ill-considered tax proposals and regulatory changes, we urge Congress to partner with the business aviation community, which is leading the way in developing new and innovative safety and environmental technologies, connecting communities, creating jobs, and benefiting American businesses of all sizes,” the letter concluded.