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The $100 per flight proposed tax: what will you pay?

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In the recent USPA email update from last week, they urged us to contact our congress critters urging them to oppose the proposed $100 per flight user fee. I did.

If you haven't emailed your representative and senators yet, I'd like to urge US skydivers to take a moment and consider what such a tax/user fee would mean to you if it is implemented. You might be surprised.

If you jump from a turbine plane (piston planes are exempt), the $100 fee would apply to you. Yes, the DZO would be paying, but you can be quite sure that they will (unless they are really stupid) increase jump ticket prices to cover it. How much will depend on the plane they have, and what average load capacity it.

For example: for an Otter that averages ~20 jumpers per flight, it works out to $5 per jumper. A caravan or PAC averaging 13: ~$7.50. (Clearly, the bigger and fuller the plane, the lower “per jumper” cost).

So work it out for yourself: what's average load size at your DZ, divide into $100 to get the per jump cost, then multiply by your yearly jump numbers. What do you get? BTW, include work jumps in there: even though you don't pay it yourself, it does come from the pool of money that pays you, meaning not as much left over for you.

For example, you jump at a Otter DZ and make 100 jumps a year? $500. Caravan DZ and 200 jumps a year? $1,500 a year.

I suspect if this does pass, total jumps will go down a lot. Few jumpers jump without keeping an eye on the budget. For most I suspect that a 30% increase in jump ticket prices will result in a substantial decline in number of jumps made; maybe not completely offsetting it, but enough that with will be noticeable.

So maybe it would be good for everyone to write their congress critters. Only takes a couple of minutes. The USPA email has links to a website that lets you easily find your senators and congress critter, and with a direct link to their contact page. So prepare a brief letter (the USPA email even has a link to a model letter you can cut and paste) and paste it in and hit "send".

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...and if you write to a Georgia critter, don't mention "jobs" or "employment" or "newts".



Georgia? Don't mention "critter", either, or you'll be shunted off to the "possum hunting" category. (p.s, most people there are "pro".)

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Your best angle may be international visiting jumpers. US DZ's must have millions of jumps per year done by travelling teams and fun jumpers. That's partly because there's the weather, the facilities and the coaching. But it's also because of the ticket price and the exchange rates.

Southern Europe (just as an example) also has DZ's with the facilities, coaching and weather. This tax will mean they're cheaper and it's a global market.

That's lots of lost revenue (and taxes) from people who will no longer travel to the US and spend their money in local businesses as they can go to a big DZ in France or Spain where they can still get top class coaching out of big planes in the sun... and pay less than to do so in the US.

Congressional reps love to bring money in to State. You can dress this proposal up as meaning money will not only be lost from the State but from the Country.

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http://www.flyingmag.com/news/latest-white-house-user-fee-plan-draws-fire

Kind of seems like a little bit of chicken little syndrome is going on here within the skydiving community...

A. Jump planes are not filing IFR flight plans, because if they had to, you wouldn't be jumping.
B. My DZ isn't even within controlled airspace, so who the hell would even enforce the fee?
C. Congress has already voiced their opposition to the bill.

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The sky is not falling, but here is what could happen.

My DZ has an LOA with ATC. We have two assigned beacon codes for jump planes. When we operate we show up on the controller's screen as an IFR aircraft, even though we are flying VFR. All DZ's contact ATC. I could see the Feds wanting us to pay as a technicality.

Yes, it looks like for now the wolf has been kept out of our pockets, for now.

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don't mind the price hike...i have a well paying career, no credit debt, no school debt, a paid off car, no wife, and here's the kicker, no kids



You got my vote for the smartest skydiver on on the planet.....or off it for that matter,
:D:D
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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http://www.flyingmag.com/news/latest-white-house-user-fee-plan-draws-fire

B. My DZ isn't even within controlled airspace, so who the hell would even enforce the fee?



Class E airspace, which is controlled, starts at 1200 feet and covers most of the country. Your DZ may be in Class G but you're probably flying and jumping through Class E most of the time.

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