March 23, 2011
From Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo:
Advocates gathered at the state capitol today to promote the benefits of airports and the aviation industry in New York. The New York Aviation Management Association’s (NYAMA) annual Advocacy Day in Albany provides an opportunity for airport managers and other aviation professionals to inform state lawmakers about legislation and budget issues affecting them.
“Airports and the aviation industry fuel economic growth throughout New York with a $35 billion economic impact that generates more than $2.8 billion in state and local taxes,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell), a member of the Transportation Committee and Co-Chair of the New York Legislative Aviation Caucus. “Families, businesses, health care, law enforcement, tourism and recreation depend heavily on over 600 airports and heliports in the state.”
“I welcome the New York Aviation Management Association to Albany for their annual Advocacy Day,” said Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), Co-Chair of the New York Legislative Aviation Caucus. “NYAMA has been a tremendous voice for New York’s airports and I look forward to working with them during this legislative session.”
Both the state Senate and Assembly passed resolutions today sponsored by Lupardo and Larkin to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of NYAMA – a leading advocate for airports and the aviation industry in New York. Membership in the non-profit organization includes airports, aviation industry businesses and professionals, related government agencies, education facilities and other aviation organizations.
“NYAMA has long been the voice of aviation in New York State,” said Carl Beardsley, President of NYAMA and Commissioner of Aviation at the Greater Binghamton Airport. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the Legislature for our work promoting airports as economic engines. We truly appreciate the leadership of Assemblywoman Lupardo and Senator Larkin in advancing aviation.”
Lupardo and Larkin also announced a two-way budget agreement between the Assembly and Senate that will allow the transfer of unused Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to the state’s AIR99 program. AIR99 funds important projects to promote airport security, business development, hangar construction, energy efficiency, critical facility repairs and other vital airport projects. This agreement has no cost impact on the budget and any transfer of funds is at the discretion of the Division of the Budget. Lupardo and Larkin expect the governor to include the provision in the final budget agreement. This will help airports continue to retain and create jobs, attract private sector investment and improve security and service for the traveling public.
Earlier this year, Lupardo and Larkin introduced legislation (A4818/S2678) to repeal the sales and use taxes on the purchase of general aviation aircraft and make New York more competitive with neighboring states. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Hampshire already exempt these aviation purchases from sales and use taxes or provide more favorable tax treatment.
A similar sales tax exemption for the maintenance, repair and rebuilding of aircraft enacted in 2004 actually increased state tax revenues by expanding aviation maintenance and repair businesses, according to a recent study by the Department of Taxation and Finance. Exempting the purchase of general aviation aircraft is also expected to increase revenues for state and local governments. In addition, other companies would be encouraged to locate or relocate their business jets and operations to New York.
Lupardo and Larkin’s legislation is currently in the Assembly’s Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate’s Committee on Investigations and Government Operations.