Paying for airport twice |

Paying for airport twice


Who pays for the maintenance on that lonely stretch of Nevada interstate? About 90 percent of the money comes from federal funds, mostly taxes on gasoline we pay at the pump that are returned to our state. This funding system helps keep America’s almost 47,000 miles of interstate highways in repair and pays for improvements. Would you vote to have Nevada refuse to accept our fair share of highway maintenance money, tax money we’ve already paid, and money that if refused would be spent on another state’s highways? No?

Maintenance for our nation’s airports is funded in similar fashion, with 95 percent* coming from the Federal Aviation Trust Fund – money collected from tax on aviation fuel sales and a “seat tax” we pay on airline travel. Just like that lonely section of interstate, small airports would become a huge burden on their communities if federal funds were refused.

Yet opponents of the airport use initiative are asking you to do just that, refuse federal money that’s already been earmarked to maintain our airport and make needed improvements for small general aviation aircraft and gliders.

They would have our airport fall into a state of disrepair or be minimally maintained using Douglas County funds that are really needed elsewhere. If they have their way, we’ll end up paying for our airport maintenance twice, once with the federal aviation fuel and seat taxes already collected but sent elsewhere, and then again with local county taxes. Even in good times, this would make no sense. Now? It would be a “Golden Fleece Award” style waste of your money.

*The other 5 percent comes from our airport general fund, money collected from airport leases and other on-airport user fees. Our airport is self-sufficient and operates at a profit to the county.

Passing the airport use ordinance is necessary to continue to receive our fair share of Federal Aviation Trust funds. A “yes” vote is the right choice for our county.

John Morgan