A user fee for GA would be good if it was reasonable. A $100 fee for each turbine departure is not reasonable. Something like an additional penny or two tax would be reasonable.
Agreed. $100 is pathetic. I assume that such a number was used to set the table limit, so that when all bets come in - they will be referenced against a $100 "standard." For GA? I think a reasonable levy would be in the $1.25 - $2.25 range and not a dime more than that. Not a single dime. For CA? I would think they could easily accommodate a $3.25 to $4.25 user fee. This talk about $100 is so far from planet earth, that I hardly know how anyone can come up with it. It is a ridiculous number, right off the bat.
The FAA already gets $9,125,000,000 in taxes each year (7.5% passenger tax, $3.70 segment fee, and $16.30 international departure/arrival fee). There's also a tax on fuel - does this go to the FAA or the general fund? They also get money from the 6.25% air cargo tax.
The congressional excise "bundle" aggregates many charges/taxes/levies/fees on aviation today. I would think they now collect significantly more than $9 billion. The fuel charges (along with the rest of the bundle) go directly into the AATF, with congress appropriating the remainder from the GF.
Does the FAA get additional money from the general fund or are they suppose to be self-supporting?
Sure, they do. But, during the Bush administration, government said that given current budget constraints, funding for even the FAA's baseline operational expenses would "probably not be forthcoming" in future fiscal years. That was back when the prior administration attempted to launch User Fees against aviation.
The problem is that the FAA claims budgetary shortfalls, while aviation proponents claim budgetary surpluses! That math can't be right on both sides. Last budget surplus that I heard the GA claim for the FAA was nearly $4 billion dollars by 2011. Yet, if you let the FAA tell the story, they claim they can barely keep the runway lights lit at night. Somebody is not telling the truth.
General Aviation needs a full and complete accounting of all post 1970 FAA spending, including general operational costs, maintenance costs and expansion (developmental) costs in a YoY format. Including projected project time-lines (before a project was initiated) -vs- actual project completion times (with cost overruns analysis).
We need this information to find out whether or not the FAA has been spending the excise revenue in an optimal fashion and according to schedule. Or, has the FAA/AATF been used as just another Federal Government slush fund with cooked-book projects that nobody can account for.
If DoD can announce less than 24 hours before September 11th, 2001, that the Pentagon lost track of $2.3 trillion of U.S. Tax Payer money, then the FAA should be put on Spot Check status before a dime of additional User Fees get approved by anyone.
That's my down the middle approach on the matter. I'll pay a couple bucks on departures - but I want detailed and verifiable analysis on how excise money has been spent since 1970, so I can be assured that the FAA has not been wasting our money.
No post 1970 verifiable analysis = no User Fees.