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Public Statements

Letter to President Obama

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Senator Lisa Murkowski wrote a letter to President Obama, taking issue with the Administration's recent proposal to impose a $100 fee per flight on general aviation aircraft, as a way to reduce the nation's growing deficit.

"I write to voice my opposition to your Administration's recent proposal to impose user fees on general aviation aircraft," Murkowski wrote. "While I agree that our nation's debt must be reduced, increasing taxes on general aviation aircraft through new user fees could stifle economic recovery."

"In Alaska, aviation is the foundation of our transportation system," she continued. "The majority of our communities cannot be reached by rail, auto, or marine modes and the ability to carry people and goods to and from these communities by air is the lifeline of our nation's biggest state."

Based on the Alaska DOT Division of Statewide Aviation's most recent numbers, the aviation industry contributes:

$3.5 billion to the Alaskan economy (8 percent of the state's economy)
47,000 jobs in Alaska (10 percent of the workforce)

The letter from Sen. Murkowski to President Obama is attached.

Dear President Obama:

I write to voice my opposition to your Administration's recent proposal to impose user fees on general aviation aircraft. With 14 million Americans looking for work, our government's first priority should be to create and an environment in which businesses can grow and hire additional workers. While I agree that our nation's debt must be reduced, increasing taxes on general aviation aircraft through new user fees could stifle economic recovery.

This issue is of the utmost importance to Alaskans because in Alaska, aviation is the foundation of our transportation system. The majority of our communities cannot be reached by rail, auto, or marine modes and the ability to carry people and goods to and from these communities by air is the lifeline of our nation's biggest state. The effects of new user fees on the Alaskan economy and our way of life would be devastating.

The issue is also of great import to the general aviation industry across America. The industry employs 1.2 million workers and generates $150 billion in economic activity. In many states, general aviation generates economic development with little or no commercial airline service. Additionally, in 2010 U.S. general aviation manufacturers increased their percentage of exports to 51.6% of all aircraft produced.

The negative impacts associated with the user fees you have proposed would obstruct the Alaskan transportation system and negatively impact the U.S. economy, and I urge you to reconsider proposing such a fee for deficit reduction.

Sincerely,

Lisa Murkowski


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