LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Jet tax hike would punish job makers

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“Obama’s corporate jet obsession” (Comment & Analysis, Feb. 4) aptly addresses myths and distortions when it comes to the use of business aircraft.

The proposal to lengthen the depreciation schedule for non-commercial aircraft in the purchase of a new aircraft would not generate any actual new revenue over the long term, and it would decimate the thousands of businesses that use these aircraft for a variety of critical functions. Contrary to the contentions of some inside the Beltway, the vast majority of businesses that own and operate their own aircraft are small to mid-sized companies — middle managers, technical specialists and sales personnel, in most cases. They use these aircraft to visit far-off plants in rural areas, deliver and pick up supplies and reach customers. In addition, there are thousands of communities that depend on these aircraft for important services such as law enforcement, medical care, disaster relief and other purposes.

Certainly we need to constructively address debt reduction in a productive and bipartisan way, but closing this so-called “loophole” would punitively target a crucial segment of our economy with no real long-term benefit in terms of revenue. The general aviation industry accounts for 1.2 million jobs and $150 billion in economic impact. It is one of the only manufacturing sectors that contributes positively to the balance of U.S. trade — and recent studies show businesses that utilize business aviation perform better than those that do not.

Business aircraft are tools of productivity and necessity, and the businesses and communities that rely on them are far more expansive and diverse than most people recognize. During this fragile economic recovery, we should be doing everything we can to stimulate business and job growth, not harm our nation’s small businesses and manufacturing sector.

KAREN KERRIGAN

President and CEO

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Washington

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