Court Strikes Down Anti-Aviation Tax!

In 2005, the city of Hartford tried to levy a tax against occupants of several hangars at state-owned Brainard Airport. According to, the occupants took the city to court and won; however, the city continued with appeals until the state Supreme Court recently upheld the earlier ruling.

This is great news for the hangars' occupants as the tax would have effectively doubled the cost of parking their aircraft. The city of Hartford appears to have wasted a great deal of tax money while continuing to fight this issue.

Unfortunately, not all cities realize the enormous benefits of general aviation and take actions that hurt aviators and cities alike. We even mentioned recently that Santa Monica is trying to ban business jets at it's airport.

Hopefully, cities such as Santa Monica will look at examples like Hartford and Meigs Field in Chicago where the mayor inexplicably ordered the runway bulldozed. (AOPA fought that action and Chicago's Mayor Daley ended up looking very foolish and incurring fines.)

It's good to see that courts are sticking up for the little guys in some places. Hopefully, Hartford and Chicago will be seen as instances of case law that can support further rulings in support of aviation the next time a city decides to hurt itself by trying to hurt GA.