It's no secret that I'm one of – if not THE – biggest supporters of AOPA up here in the Pacific Northwest. The leadership they provide for the GA community is beyond vital, and without them fighting for us in Washington, D.C., the current crop of cronies running our country would simply have their way with us. It takes people like AOPA President Phil Boyer and his awesome team to get right up there in it and go toe-to-toe with the politicians who want to screw us with insane ideas like a 366 percent fuel tax increase and European-style user fees.
There is no better place to see just how tenacious AOPA is at fighting that fight then their wonderful website, which seems to get better by the day. And one of the finest things I've seen in a while on aopa.org is AOPA's “Tax Increase Calculator”, which will quickly tell you how much more it will cost to fly your particular aircraft if Bush's FAA user fee/tax increase scheme becomes law. With AOPA's permission, I'm offering the calculator here:
Make sure you click the "Learn More" link when you get to the results screen.
Jeff Coffey, AOPA's VP - ePublishing, is one of their team members who is doing some great work. Coffey offers this as the reason why AOPA spent the time developing this complex Flash tool for their site:
AOPA's ePublishing group is responsible for the AOPA.org home page and the creation of the calculator. Our goal was to make the implications of the FAA's proposed funding solution more "real" for our members.As I have said many, many times recently, this topic should be front and center in the minds of every pilot, future student pilot or anyone who has a business that sells stuff to pilots and aircraft owners. I may choose to leave this up for a while to get AOPA maximum exposure, so please copy/paste the following URL into your email and send it to everyone you know:
Our hope is that the calculator makes it painfully clear how the proposed tax increase could directly affect each one of us.
If this garbage FAA funding reauthorization bill actually becomes law as currently written, it will rip the heart out of every pilot that is living today, steal away the dreams of those kids who have yet to hang on their first airport fence, and insult the aviators of our past who are now off hangar flying with Lindy and Doolittle.
We can't let that happen.
UPDATE 040407@815A: The response to this post has been tremendous, and since I will be on the road 4/4 - 4/10 (and my housesitter doesn't do 'puters or blogging), I'm going to go ahead and leave this post up while I am traveling. If you've seen it before, please check back after 4/10 when fresh content will again go up daily. And don't forget, the GA community needs you to pass this post around so people can see the AOPA tax increase calculator -dp.