By: Woodrow Bellamy III
Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) criticized President Barack Obama’s proposal to end tax code “loopholes” available to corporate jet owners during a Senate floor speech last week.
The president has received criticism in recent weeks from business aviation groups for calling to adjust the tax depreciation schedule for general aviation (GA) aircraft. Under the current tax code, companies that use jets for business purposes can depreciate taxes on the aircraft over five years, compared to the seven years allowed for commercial airlines.
During a February interview with a Kansas news station Obama said, “What we don’t want to do is give somebody who’s buying a corporate jet an extra tax break that ordinary people can’t get because they don’t need it.”
Moran countered the president in his floor speech by stating that the five-year tax depreciation schedule also applies to farmers and small business owners who use small aircraft for business purposes, not just corporate jet owners.
“The five-year depreciation schedule has been law for nearly a quarter century, and was not created for the benefit of the ‘rich’ or ‘wealthy,’ but for the 1.2 million Americans who make a living building and servicing these planes,” said Moran, adding that ending the accelerated depreciation schedule for GA planes would “send hundreds, if not thousands of hardworking Kansans straight to the unemployment line.”
Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) recently made similar comments, stating that the president’s proposed tax code reform is a job-killing measure for companies that manufacture GA aircraft.
Moran said the administration should focus on a comprehensive approach to tax reform rather than singling out the GA industry.
“It is long past time to address the real problem with meaningful spending reductions, and every moment spent talking about ‘corporate jet loopholes’ is a moment wasted,” Moran said.