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06 January 2015

New FAA Policy on Jet Fuel Taxes Could Cost Clayton County $38 Million in Annual Revenue

12billion.org, a website maintained by the UNITE HERE labor union, released a report that says Clayton County could lose $38 million in annual revenue due to a new policy adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) late last year.

Effective 8 December 2014, the FAA says revenue from state or local taxes on aviation fuel must be used for airport-related purposes or for state aviation programs. This policy excludes taxes in effect before December 30, 1987.

According to 12billion.org, the FAA policy change puts at risk the 1% Local Option Sales Tax and 1% Education Local Option Sales Tax currently levied in Clayton County; potentially costing the county $38 million each year.

Prior to the new policy's adoption, the Georgia Department of Law, acting on behalf of both the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Georgia Department of Revenue (GDOR), opposed the new regulation, saying, "The GDOT is concerned that the Proposed Policy may result in the revocation of grants and/or other sanctions imposed on airports it assists and that the Proposed Policy will have a deleterious effect on the State economy.”

Bill Dunn, Airport Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) vice president of airports, supported the FAA's new policy though.

“This is good news for general aviation airports nationwide, because it means money raised through aviation operations will be put to work for airports and aviation,” Dunn said. “There has been a lot of confusion over this issue, especially since fuel taxes imposed prior to 1987 were exempt from being used for aviation purposes. We’re pleased the FAA is setting the record straight and making sure states recognize their obligations.”