BOZEMAN – A proposed bill in Helena has some Montana airports concerned. Montana House Bill 661 would raise the aviation fuel tax.
The bill would increase the tax on airplane fuel by 10 cents per gallon at all Montana airports which would help fund operations, education opportunities, and airport grants at Montana airports. The bill would also repeal the two-cent tax refund on fuel that airlines use. This has sparked concern at Montana airports like Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport because it may discourage airlines from continuing and adding operations to and from Montana airports and could increase ticket prices.
“We obviously want to make sure that we’re encouraging airlines to serve Montana and not discouraging them because basically for Montanans to get anywhere we have to fly and it’s going to cost us more,” Airport director Brian Sprenger said.
Sprenger suggests that a solution would be to apply the tax only to general aviation which would make up for the $1 million shortfall that Montana airports need for these operations.
Reporting by Carson Vickroy for MTN News