An AOPA-backed bill that would restructure the collection of aviation fuel taxes and ensure that some of the money is reinvested in airport improvements has been introduced in the Ohio General Assembly.
House Bill 32 would “subject the receipt of motor fuel used to operate aircraft to the motor fuel excise taxes rather than the sales and use taxes,” and would “require a percentage of motor fuel excise tax revenue to be used for airport improvements.”
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Rick Perales (R-District 73) creates an aviation improvement fund, and sets the excise tax for aviation fuel at $0.28 per gallon. The sales tax now charged is a 5.75-percent levy.
AOPA has advocated for passage of the measure in cooperation with the Ohio Aviation Association, and would have representatives of the association’s government affairs team present in the state capital, Columbus, the week of Feb. 9 to make the case for the legislation, said Bryan Budds, AOPA Great Lakes regional manager.
“AOPA is very pleased to see Representative Perales introduce this critically important legislation,” Budds said. “Right now, Ohio’s ability to support its state grant program and provide matching grants for FAA Airport Improvement Program funds is extremely limited. That hinders the growth potential of the state’s $1.8 billion general aviation industry.”
During previous Ohio legislative debates on aviation funding, AOPA helped diffuse efforts to raise aviation taxes by showing that “Ohio already has one of the highest aviation fuel tax rates, but none of that money is being directed to the airport fund.”
“So we worked with local allies and state legislators to craft this legislation which reduces the tax rate while strengthening the airport account,” Budds said.
A preliminary fiscal impact analysis indicated that the measure would provide approximately $14 million in additional tax revenue, while reducing the aviation fuel tax rate.