By Rick Ott
Your May 31 editorial on funding a modern air-traffic control system titled “Fairer shift in aviation tax” completely missed the mark in terms of who would benefit and who would get hurt under the new airline-backed proposal for FAA reauthorization.
The truth is that this bill, which will soon be considered by the Senate Finance Committee, would overhaul the entire existing funding structure for FAA in favor of a new “user fee” tax, which would impose a devastating tax increase on the small businesses and towns across America that rely on small planes. This is in addition to more than doubling the fuel tax on small planes, while the airlines’ fuel tax gets entirely eliminated. Under this proposal, the airlines would get a huge tax break while small and mid-sized businesses throughout South Carolina would be taxed into the ground.
The airlines would have you believe that somehow passengers would benefit from this new tax break, but nothing could be further from the truth. As news report after news report shows, the major airlines continue to shortchange their workers’ pensions and then turn around and award lavish compensations to their CEOs. Not only that, but history has shown that when the airlines get a tax break, they do not cut fares but raise them.
Throughout South Carolina, communities rely on small planes for transportation of goods, labor and management quickly and efficiently across our state and beyond. Without these planes, businesses will be hurt economically, and our citizens will lose essential services.
The Senate Finance Committee will soon draft its own FAA reauthorization bill. After billions in tax breaks and bailouts, it is time to say no to another handout to the airlines and time to stand up for small businesses and general aviation.
M.B. Kahn Construction
101 Flintlake Road
Source: CHARLESTON POST AND COURIER (SC)