Administration Attempts to Fly New Plane Fees in Under the Radar
Rauscher concerned that legislature isn’t included in discussion for fees
Wednesday, November 08, 2017, Juneau, Alaska - Representative George Rauscher (R-Sutton) expressed concern over Governor Bill Walker’s plan, through the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, to forego the legislative process and adopt a change that will require the owners of aircraft in Alaska to obtain a registration from the state.
The proposed change would require private aircraft owners to register their aircraft with the state for a fee of $150, and commercial aircraft for $250. The fee schedule is being done through a change in regulation, which is an administrative procedure. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) already has a license, registration process for aircraft.
Rep. Rauscher believes the proposed changes violate the state constitution which allows the House of Representatives and Senate, to weigh in on such action. The legislature routinely considers legislation every session dealing with licenses and registrations.
Rauscher is concerned with the following:
- Why is this fee necessary?
- What will it cost to implement?
- How many new staff positions will this create?
- Where will aircraft owners have to go to apply for this registration?
- How will money from the registration be spent?
- What are the penalties for not registering an aircraft?
“These are areas that are typically vetted as part of the legislative process,” Rauscher added. “During committee hearings, public testimony, the amendment process, and careful review of the fiscal impacts of legislation.”
The Governor currently has legislation before the finance committee’s in both the House (HB60) and the Senate (SB25) that would triple the fuel tax for aviation, marine, and highway use. Placing the aviation fuel tax above the national average.
Rep. Rauscher encourages those impacted to speak up during the comment period which is currently open. Comments can be emailed to StatewideAviation@alaska.gov from today until 5:00 p.m. January 5.
For more information contact Press Secretary Mallory Walser at Mallory.Walser@akleg.gov