It is very easy to use the Washington State Legislature site to locate legislators for your district and send all of them in your district an email (with one click): http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/default.aspx?city=&street=&zip=
The following message was sent to Representative Roger Goodman (D), Representative Larry Springer (D) and Senator Eric Oemig (D) of the 45th district.
With respect to House Bill 3176, I feel that sections 1002, RCW 82.48.020 and 2000 c 229 s 4, imposing an annual .5% excise tax on aircraft, is excessive, arbitrary, unfair, and blind to the facts surrounding general aviation small aircraft ownership within our State. I oppose this tax. If you support this tax, you will lose my vote in the next election.
Washington state has about 5,933 registered General Aviation (GA) aircraft.
It appears that the intent is to obtain about $6 million in new tax revenue by taxing the 5993 aircraft on the average, about $1000 each. This is based on Washingon state data showing 5993 registered airplanes having a worth of $1.1 Billion, and the new excise tax rate of .5%. Again, that would be a revenue collection of about $6 million for an average of $1000 for each registered GA aircraft in WA.
On the other hand, there are over 7,000,000 registered vehicles in Washington State. And about 4.8 million drivers, for a ratio of about 1.4 vehicles per driver. Certain that represents a luxury of some kind. If you wanted to collect an extra $6 million in taxes, why not spread the tax over those vehicles. That is only about 86 cents per vehicle.
Is the thinking that GA airplanes are owned by rich guys, and they’ll never miss that extra $1000 ? Well, my newest car is 13 years old – my wife drives it most of the time. I drive a 1979 Saab (worth about $400 tops), so I can afford to fly a 1974 airplane (36 years old !) Fuel costs about $5.00 gallon, and the annual inspection of the plane is around $1000. If I’m lucky, I’ll fly it 50 hours. If Bill 3176 passes, you just raised my flying costs by another $20 each hour!
If you taxed each motor vehicle 86 cents, you just raised the hourly cost of driving an average car about 2/10ths of a cent.
So… why are you picking on General Aviation? Do you really not like the services that GA provides this state, such as: gas pipeline patrol, hospital emergency transportation, complimentary (free) medical transport for the needyvia programs such as Angel Flight, traffic reporting, fishery spotting, wildlife counting and surveys, search and rescue, helicopter logging, forest fire fighting and protection, moving firefighters to/from fire locations, television news reporting, charter flight services, sightseeing, antique aircraft flights, external load operations from helicopters (placing heavy loads on buildings, for example), wire pulling for power companies like the Bonneville Power Company, power-line patrol – inspection and maintenance, Civil Air patrol training and search/rescue, crop dusting, seeding and fertilizing – both helicopter and fixed wing, aerial photography, aerial filming, sports filming (golf, football, skiing), banner towing, flight training – where do you think the next generation of commercial airline pilots will come from? Oh yes, and recreational flying – you know, the kind of fun stuff that is similar to what the people do that own the 280 thousand recreational boats in Washington State.
I find it very hard to understand why you would consider raising the registration taxes on GA aircraft an average of 1500 percent !!!
Again, I strongly oppose this tax. If you support this tax you will lose my vote in the next election.