By David Lombardo
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, wants to put furloughed air traffic control workers back to work by generating new revenue with the closure of a corporate jet tax loophole.
There have been flight delays since sequestration forced the Federal Aviation Administration to furlough air traffic controllers. Proposed legislation from Gillibrand would generate revenue by instituting the same “recovery periods” for corporate jets as planes used for commercial passengers or freight, which would no longer give corporate jets a tax preference when it came to depreciation.
Gillibrand’s news release estimate that this would mean $2.702 billion over the next 10 years.
“Instead of protecting tax breaks for wealthy corporate jet owners who don’t need them, we should be keeping commercial air travel fully operational for middle class families and small businesses,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “These wasteful tax breaks are blowing a hole in our budget, adding to uncertainty and slowing economic growth. Closing this loophole is just common sense, and will save us billions of dollars that we can invest right now to keep control towers up and running, keep flights on time, and keep our economy on the move.”
Sequestration required the FAA to cut $232 million from its operations budget for the 2013 Fiscal year. About 15,000 air traffic controller are furloughed for one day each pay period because of the cuts.