Assembly Republican members John Amodeo and Vince Polistina, staunch advocates of making aviation a core industry in South Jersey and throughout the state, today voiced their opposition to job-killing aviation fees proposed by President Obama as a means to deal with the nation?s debt crisis and chronic unemployment.

?The President?s proposed user fees for turbine aircraft flights would devastate the aviation industry in New Jersey which is just beginning to take flight,? explained Amodeo, R-Atlantic. ?With the promise of thousands of quality, high-paying jobs very much a reality with the expansion of our state?s aviation industry, including the development of the NextGen Air Transportation System, we have a golden opportunity for economic growth in South Jersey. This fee would severely ground our efforts.?

?You can call it a fee. You can call it a surcharge. It doesn?t matter what label you give it. The bottom line is it?s a tax,? said Polistina, R-Atlantic. ?The President is no different than any New Jersey Democrat. Their solution to any fiscal dilemma is a tax.

?John and I have been working diligently to develop the aviation industry in New Jersey and particularly in our region as it is ripe with job creation opportunities and other economic benefits,? he continued. ?Imposing a per flight tax for users of air traffic services will deal a significant blow to these efforts as the industry is currently experiencing tremendous economic difficulties.?

The 2nd Legislative District lawmakers noted that not only would the per flight tax impose a significant administrative burden on general aviation operators who currently fund the FAA through a per-gallon tax on fuel, but the proposed tax would also create a costly federal revenue collection bureaucracy.

The Obama administration is proposing a $100 per flight fee on aviation operators who fly in controlled airspace. The revenue generated from the fees would be used to supposedly reduce the national deficit and stimulate employment.

?Taxation as a rationale for stimulating economic growth is just an excuse to tax. It doesn?t work,? stated Amodeo. ?Economics 101 teaches us that you can?t tax your way out of a fiscal crisis. Congress has already passed legislation endorsing the per-gallon fuel charges rather than per flight fees. I would hope this proposal is already dead on arrival.?

?This proposal is wrong for so many reasons,? added Polistina. ?It?s a job killer that will only create another costly bureaucracy which is the last thing we need.?

The New Jersey Aviation Association and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Coalition have joined with the nation?s other leading general associations in registering their opposition to the proposed fee.

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