An AOPA-backed bill introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives would require that state revenue from aviation fuel and sales-and-use taxes be deposited in the state airport development grant fund, creating a sustainable funding stream for Indiana’s aviation system.
House Bill 1267 was introduced by Rep. Bob Cherry (R-District 53) and assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee. The measure has the support of the Aviation Association of Indiana, which set its legislative priorities for 2015 at a recent conference that AOPA attended.
In a letter to the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds pointed out that passage of the bill would head off a scenario in which the FAA could withhold grant funds because of how Indiana appropriates its share from aviation taxes.
“Recently, the FAA has clarified its Policy and Procedures Concerning the Use of Airport Revenue in Federal Register Volume 79, No. 216. The policy reaffirmed the FAA’s requirement that any aviation fuel taxes imposed by a state or municipal body at a federally-funded airport must be reinvested in the aviation system,” Budds wrote to Committee Chairman Dr. Tim Brown (R-District 41).
Currently, Indiana aviation fuel excise tax revenue “is deposited into the state general revenue fund and may be viewed by the FAA as improperly diverted airport revenue. With this situation in place, the FAA may withhold grant funding for airports in Indiana causing aviation infrastructure to fall into disrepair and limit the safe and efficient operations of Indiana’s commercial and general aviation airports alike.”
“By passing Indiana House Bill 1267, this issue would be remedied and Indiana would again be compliant with the FAA and its policies,” Budds wrote to the committee leader on behalf of AOPA’s 7,000 members in Indiana.
AOPA government affairs staff met with legislative leaders on the funding proposal during a Jan. 27 and 28 visit to Indianapolis, Budds said. He encouraged pilots in Indiana to contact members of the House Ways and Means Committee and advocate for the bill.
“Members should emphasize that House Bill 1267 creates a sustainable system for state airport funding in Indiana,” Budds said. “Without it, the ability of the state to provide airport grants and to provide matching funds for federal grants to airports may be limited.”