The House committee on Transportation and Infrastructure moved two aviation fuel tax bills out of committee. House Bill 4571 and 4572 both were voted out on a party-line vote with nine Republicans voting in favor and six Democrats voting in opposition. HB 4571 would remove the 3 cent per gallon tax on aviation fuel and replace it with a 4% wholesale tax. It would also eliminate the 1.5 cents per gallon tax credit currently provided to airline operators who provide proof of scheduled interstate operations. HB 4572 would exempt aviation fuels from the state sales tax.
The League voiced its opposition to this proposal because it results in a $12 million cut to revenue sharing. Chairman Schmidt publicly stated in committee that he has every intention to fill the hole this legislation creates but a clear plan was not put on the table. Without a clear plan that guarantees replacement the League will remain opposed to this legislation. Further cuts to local governments are unacceptable and that was made clear in the testimony the League gave in committee.
The League encourages you to be active on this issue and contact your legislators. Let them know that until a guaranteed funding source is identified to replace the hole this creates for local government a vote in favor of this legislation is a vote against local government.
John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate with the League. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.