2014 Press Releases

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NBAA: Rep. Camp's Tax Proposal Wrongly Portrays Business Aircraft Depreciation

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]

Washington, DC, Feb. 27, 2014 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today said a congressman’s draft tax-overhaul plan unfairly mischaracterizes and singles out tax depreciation on the purchase of general aviation (GA) aircraft used by businesses, farms, healthcare providers, flight schools, emergency responders and others to connect communities and grow businesses across the U.S.

“A tax proposal outlined in a Feb. 26 commentary by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, suggesting that the depreciation schedule for general aviation (GA) aircraft purchases is a ‘special benefit,’ is simply not accurate,” Bolen said in a Letter to the Editor of The Wall Street Journal.

In his letter, Bolen added: “Mischaracterizations like those from Chairman Camp may make for an eye-catching gimmick for Journal readers, but they do little to advance comprehensive tax reform that incentivizes the business capital investments that drive economic growth and the creation of jobs.”

He added: “As economists, members of Congress and the many Americans who rely on the industry for their livelihoods can attest, general aviation is a crucially important driver in our economy, and the depreciation schedule for the purchase of a business aircraft has – just like a host of other business assets – been on the books for decades. Such depreciation schedules apply to everything from computers to cars to aircraft, and the idea behind such policies is to encourage American businesses to continually upgrade the products they use, so they can remain competitive in today’s tough global marketplace. 

“Even the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), which Chairman Camp references, has concluded that repealing provisions such as the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System – which sets cost-recovery rules for business aircraft and a wide variety of other types of property – would have a long-term negative impact on the economy and capital investment,” Bolen’s letter went on to note.

After sending his letter to the newspaper, Bolen said: “Comments like these from a House leader can harm the people and companies involved in the manufacture and use of an airplane for business — an industry that accounts for 1.2 million jobs and $150 billion in economic activity. Words have consequences, and this is an important industry. That’s why economists, representatives with organized labor, small business champions and others have supported retaining or shortening aircraft-depreciation schedules, in order to promote their purchase, and preserve the jobs that come with it."

Bolen said the business aviation industry welcomes the opportunity to be a part of the tax-reform conversation, and will continue to educate lawmakers on the important role that cost-recovery policies play in the business-investment decisions that impact essential industries like general aviation.

“We agree with Chairman Camp that any discussion of tax reform should focus on strengthening the U.S. economy and ensuring that the code is equitable and supports growth,” he said.
 
Below is Bolen’s letter to The Wall Street Journal, sent to the newspaper via email, in its entirety.

The Wall Street Journal
ATTN: Letters Editors
200 Liberty Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10281-1015
February 27, 2014

To the Editors:

A tax proposal outlined in a Feb. 26 commentary by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (“Dave Camp: How to Fix Our Appalling Tax Code”), suggesting that the depreciation schedule for general aviation (GA) aircraft purchases is a “special benefit,” is simply not accurate.

As economists, many Members of Congress and the Americans who rely on the industry for their livelihoods can attest, general aviation is a crucially important driver in our economy, and the depreciation schedule for the purchase of a business aircraft has – just like a host of other business assets – been on the books for decades.

Such depreciation schedules apply to everything from computers to cars to aircraft, and the idea behind such policies is to encourage American businesses to continually upgrade the products they use, so they can remain competitive in today’s tough global marketplace. 

Even the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), which Chairman Camp references, has concluded that repealing provisions such as the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System – which sets cost-recovery rules for business aircraft and a wide variety of other types of property – would have a long-term negative impact on the economy and capital investment.

Mischaracterizations like those from Chairman Camp may make for an eye-catching gimmick for Journal readers, but they do little to advance comprehensive tax reform that would incentivize the business capital investments that drive economic growth and the creation of jobs.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 10,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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