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NATA Releases

Ask House And Senate Highway Bill Conference To Repeal Fuel Fraud Tax Today!

Action Call


April 26, 2012

What's at Issue
NATA is requesting its members to contact Members of Congress serving on the conference committee established to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the Highway Bill and urge them to support repeal of the onerous fuel fraud tax.

Why It's Important
The conference committee is one of the last steps in the legislative process before an agreement is finalized on the Highway Bill and it is approved by both the House and Senate and then signed into law by the President. 

Members of the House-Senate Conference Committee on H.R. 4348 include:

U.S. House of Representatives Conferees and Staff:

Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) - Chad Ramey,
Rob Bishop (R-UT) - Wayne Bradshaw,
Timothy Bishop (D-NY) - Mark Copeland,
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) - David Skillman,
Leonard Boswell (D-IA) - Ross Maradian,
Corrine Brown (D-FL) - Nick Martinelli,
Larry Bucshon (R-IN) -Teresa Buckley, 
Dave Camp (R-MI) - Adam Pradko,
Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) - Andrew Stasiowski,
Jerry Costello (D-IL) - Sarah Blackwood,
Chip Cravaack (R-MN) - Ian Foley,
Rick Crawford (R-AR) - Ted Verrill,
Elijah Cummings (D-MD) - Angela Hanks,
Peter DeFazio (D-OR) - Karmen Fore,
John Duncan (R-TN) - Don Walker,
Ralph Hall (R-TX) - Jessica Carter,
Richard Hanna (R-NY) - Andrew Brady,
Doc Hastings (R-WA) - Justin Prosser,
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) - Caryn Compton,
James Lankford (R-OK) - Brittnee Preston,
Edward Markey (D-MA) - William Spring,
John Mica (R-FL) - Brian Waldrip,
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) - Lisette Morton,
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) - Robert White,
Nick Rahall (D-WV) - Aaron Pritchard,
Reid Ribble (R-WI) - Kyle Roskam,
Bill Shuster (R-PA) - Stephen Martinko,
Steve Southerland (R-FL) - Karen Williams,
Pat Tiberi (R-OH) - Brad Bailey,
Fred Upton (R-MI) - Mark Ratner,
Henry Waxman (D-CA) - Travis Moore,
Edward Whitfield (R-KY) - Taylor Booth,
Don Young (R-AK) - Scott Leathard,

U.S. Senate Conferees and Staff:

Max Baucus (D-MT) - Tom Lynch,
Barbara Boxer (D-CA) - Kyle Chapman,
Richard Durbin (D-IL) - Tom Kotarac,
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) - John Tanner,
John Hoeven (R-ND) - Jessica Yearous,
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) - Landon Hairgrove,
James Inhofe (R-OK) - Nathan Reese,
Tim Johnson (D-SD) - Todd Stubbendieck,
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) - Michael Passante,
Bill Nelson (D-FL) - Jenny Solomon,
John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) - Pat Bond,
Richard Shelby (R-AL) -
Charles Schumer (D-NY) - Anne Fiala,
David Vitter (R-LA) - Bryan Zumwalt,

What to Do
Contact each conferee via email by clicking on the email addresses of each Member of Congress above. Please contact each conferee today, regardless if they are your Member of Congress or not, to request they support repeal of the onerous fuel fraud tax!

NATA members are encouraged to utilize the following talking points and attach the Fuel Fraud White Paper to their emails to conferees or when talking to congressional staff members: 

  • Prior to October 1, 2005, aviation fuel was taxed at 21.9 cents per gallon (CPG), and the taxes collected were deposited immediately into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.
  • The Highway Bill changed the collection of aviation fuel taxes. Now, aviation fuel is taxed at the same rate as highway diesel fuel, 24.4 CPG, but the fuel provider still only owes 21.9 CPG to the government. It is up to the fuel provider or "ultimate registered vendor" (a term defined in the bill), to request a refund for the 2.5 CPG difference in taxes paid and taxes actually owed.
  • The provision mandated that all taxes be deposited into the Highway Trust Fund and only when the operator applies for the refund does the money transfer to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. When a refund is requested, the operator gets the 2.5 CPG back and the remaining 21.9 CPG is transferred from the Highway Trust Fund to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. If the operator does not request a refund, all tax money stays in the Highway Trust Fund and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund receives nothing.
  • Many operators are not applying for this refund. The Internal Revenue Service has issued limited guidance on the matter, so operators, who have never had to deal with a system of tax refunds, have no idea how to apply for the refund. The term "ultimate registered vendor" is not defined in the bill. While most assume it to be the fixed base operator, that hasn't been officially decided yet. Also, the 2.5 CPG difference is small enough that many operators are simply passing the higher costs along to the consumer, which is resulting in a de facto tax increase.
  • This diversion of aviation fuel taxes costs the Airport and Airway Trust Fund approximately $50 million per year. Estimates state that the provision will cost the Airport and Airway Trust Fund close to $500 million over ten years, although that number could rise significantly if more operators do not apply for the refund.
  • This provision was included amid concerns that highway truck drivers are purchasing aviation jet fuel and mixing it with another agent to use in their trucks. The aviation industry disputes this claim, noting that there is no documented evidence of this happening on a widespread level.

NATA Position
The national airspace system has been unnecessarily deprived of funds needed to enhance safety and efficiency due to the fuel fraud provision mandating that funds be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund. It is imperative that all taxes on jet fuel, used in aviation, are deposited in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

A recent letter sent by 32 members of the U.S. House of Representatives reinforces the association's concerns with this unnecessary and onerous tax on the aviation business community.

The conference committee could meet as early as May 7, but much of the work leading up to the meeting takes place at the staff level starting now. It is critical that NATA members contact Highway Bill Conferees today!

Staff Contact: Eric Byer
Vice President, Government & Industry Affairs