Letter: Gary Kowalski, Leesburg

Editor: I think it’s pretty nervy of the Leesburg Airport Commission to “consider options for the county government to help pay for improvements to Leesburg Executive Airport.” Claims of $78 million economic impact in their 2015 annual report are just self-serving drivel when the airport is little more than a place for the 1 Percenters to park their expensive toys. Airplanes are currently taxed at the ridiculously low rate of 1 cent per $100 of assessed value. Compare that to Joe Sixpack paying $4.20 per $100 of assessed value for the car he needs to get to work.

The last time a rate increase was proposed, the commission cried it would drive owners to use other airports, despite Loudoun’s rate being the lowest around and there being a waiting list for hangar space. They also demanded any increase be used for improvements. The county caved.

Now they’re looking for a handout? Why not increase your hangar lease fees? There’s a waiting list right now, so you’re obviously priced under market. And the county should increase the aircraft tax rate and use it for general funds. I don’t get to say my car tax should go exclusively to fixing the road in front of my house—neither should they.

Gary Kowalski, Leesburg

13 thoughts on “Letter: Gary Kowalski, Leesburg

  • 2017-11-13 at 11:31 am
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    Opinions are nice, except when they are flat out wrong. Sorry, but the County of Loudoun does not control the Leesburg Airport. The Town of Leesburg controls the Leesburg Airport. Clearly Mr. Kowalski is in need of a civics lesson.

  • 2017-11-13 at 2:35 pm
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    The writer is correctly speaking of the county tax rate for aircraft — not who controls the airport.

    You must be barking up the right tree Mr. Kowalski to trigger Lawgh out in their usual pleasant demeanor. Does Kristen know you’re on her computer again Lawgh?

  • 2017-11-13 at 4:39 pm
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    Ah, my very good friend, Chris. Actually, you need to also check things out. Tell me, Chris, what is the County of Loudoun tax at the Leesburg Airport? Do you really know if there is a tax on anything at the Leesburg Airport? Or are you just guessing. Interesting, just how many people think they know everything, without even looking for what is really true. Also, go back and read the letter. It was about who controls the Leesburg Airport. In case anyone is interested, the Leesburg Airport is in the Town of Leesburg. And it is not Dulles Airport. And for my usual pleasant demeanor, I will not be inviting Chris to fly with me from either airport.

  • 2017-11-13 at 8:44 pm
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    Gary you missed some key points, but first Lawgh is the Government and they provided a 105 Page illustration of various items on how the Economic Steering Commission in Leesburg should help Educate the Public on how the Airport is benefitting Leesburg. This was the first mistake as the Airport is benefitting many, many localities, but Leesburg sudsidizes it for the benefit of the 1% and a few hobbyist. The Commission has stroked 5 creative ways, on paper at least, at finances hangars, so in the short-term the Town can get out of hot water in many respects and continue to steal from the very local taxpayers, while saying they’ve been looking at other financial avenues. In the meanwhile, they will talk with the County, which they have zero plans to co-mingle any agreement with, as they don’t want to share their baby with, or lose it exclusively, even though the Airport serves the better good of the County, and not Leesburg, ironically. You see, the folks in Leesburg, like Kristen, Kelly, Toth, Boykin, Martinez, Campbell, etc., they don’t want to lose power, money, playgrounds, etc. Each has a different agenda, but none of it serves the better good of Leesburg (or at least the percentage of people – they will wave their magic wand and make you believe it does) and none understand the net net term Fiduciary Responsibility, which they will get hung by…. The Airport is not here to serve Leesburg, it is here to serve something bigger. The Steering Committee, which has a couple of Town Council members on it (Campbell and Martinez) will provide its recommendations to the Town Council. When the Town Council takes Action that is not the best interest of the Town, and when none of the 5 items come to fruition, and talks with the County go nowhere, and we get taxed, then the problematic Town Council members will get fried. BTW Lawgh – please provide the math on those 2 hangars at the Airport now….. You have 11 large corporate planes in the 2 hangars each paying upwards of $2,000 per month with no landing or other fees…. You have 46 small private planes at around $550 per month….. Each new hangar cost roughly say 3 million dollars….. You have electric bills and other costs….. You do the math, without interest on how long it cost to payoff those hangars…. Then, you have all the maintenance on the runways…. Yeh, the FAA and State every now and then kicks in some bucks for this and that…. But wait, the Steering Commission is going to sell off portions of the Runway for lease (to whom I don’t know – as 9/11 may preclude this). The irony to all this is… You have all this amazing, amazing wealth coming in and out of this Airport, OUR Airport, and Many of the People who Own Airplanes there could buy a hangar by writing a check personally, but you, your Town Council, and many of your Corrupt Government Officials would rather continue to STEAL. You can’t educate the Public, as stated in the 105-page report, when the Airport benefits the totality of Loudoun County. I don’t think anyone wants the Airport to go away! I think any prudent person wants the Airport out of the hands of the persons who can’t manage it properly. Kelly Burk is Kristen Umstaddt’s bestfriend and between them they have either been the Mayor or BOS for decades. Toth and Boykin, and others have been on Commissions and managed the Airport, which has never, ever come close to making a profit while all the elitist continue to make us normal folks pay their bills. Many people who don’t even live in Leesburg, ironically, house their Airplanes, land their aircraft, etc. and are paying no landing fees. Kristen did not do her job, nor did certain persons on the previous Town Council’s. Lawgh – you are the government, so please tell me where I am wrong, please….. We need a change!

  • 2017-11-14 at 8:10 am
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    Thanks Leesburgsfinest9Not!). I haven’t laughed this hard in quite a while. I guess, rather than an airport, we should contemplate you and Tom Dunn forming the “Birds of a Feather” organization and fly everyone out and in from the Leesburg Airport. Not by plane, but by actual wings, like you know, actual birds. Would be quite the scene.

  • 2017-11-14 at 9:13 am
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    Then you’re missing out Lawgh. I’m an excellent travel companion. I know where all the off the beaten path party spots are.

    The County aircraft tax is, as the writer correctly states, a penny per hundred. If I kept my, oh I don’t know… maybe my G-5 there, I’m writing a stiff check to Harrison Street, in addition to a hanger fee which exceeds most folks mortgages. Less if it was my Piper Malibu. The only aspect the writer may be off on is comparing a single apple to an apple tree. (Car tax rate to aircraft rate relative value) Other than that, he never said the County owns diddley at Godfrey. Stop putting words in his mouth.

    What he’s asking is why is the airport commission asking for handouts when they’re doing pretty well already? He’s pointing out some valid issues concerning the designation of tax revenue. You and I can’t designate how our tax money is spent (it’d be nice though), why do they?

    You know what I want Lawgh? I want the runway extended and widened. We could squeeze out another 1000 feet, maybe 1500, if we really wanted to. On the extension, we need to increase the touchdown weight threshold. Expand the ramp and the run up areas — they’re way too small, JYO should be kicking Manasass’ to the curb. I want a whole new tank farm. The current one is far too exposed, and of sub-standard capacity for a real deal situation when the trucks don’t show up anymore. Throw in some better Nav aides, and improved approach lighting while we’re at it. Build more hangers, and lure in some tenants –maybe a National Guard aviation detachment (spread out the assets to the people they serve), and a dedicated hanger for the medivac. Most of us don’t comprehend how fortunate we are to have a medivac in LoCo. I also want a park, with a covered seating area right up tight to the 35 approach so citizens can watch the coming and going, with speakers on the CTAF/tower freq. And throw in a interpretive display highlighting aviation history in Loudoun/Leesburg.
    I also want the old Dodge 500 power wagon crash truck back. I used to push snow with it there on the ramps. There wasn’t a snow plow that could handle the power of that monster. May as well go total commitment and establish a full time fire station. Have it serve both the airport and Leesburg south.
    And one last thing… I want to get a DC-3, paint up in Arthur Godfrey’s colors, and put it on a stick at the front entrance. It would be a fitting tribute. Let’s go all out. Think of all the ribbon cuttins’ Kristen could attend? Think big Lawgh.

  • 2017-11-14 at 9:40 am
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    And the beat goes on, on the street. One would think that Tom Dunn, leesburgsfinest(Not!) and my very good friend Chris, would actually coordinate their comments. But no. Instead you have one wanting to claim corruption, and then claiming that was not what he meant. You have another who claims corruption, and that the airport should be shut down. And a third, who plays with airplane models and wants to have people think he is a pilot. Which could lead to another song reference, but we will stick to this story. Bottom line. Too many people seem to be playing with the notion that they can lay claim to be able to point out all the ills in the world, where they are in reality trying to score some kind of political points against their adversaries. Interesting, that the triumvirate can’t do the smart thing, sit down together over a cup of coffee, and get their story straight.

  • 2017-11-14 at 11:33 am
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    You’re not adversary Lawgh; you’re entertainment. Your inability to detect when one is being facetious is only superseded by your total and undying dedication to all things Kristen. We get it…

    If I did have a G-V, I would be in Fuji, or Kauai at one of my favorite restaurants slurping noodles. Alas, my dream jet wasn’t meant to be. I haven’t been at the controls of an aircraft in over a decade, but I’m a huge supporter of the local airstrip. I want it expanded.

    Just think Lawgh — that means more money for the Town. More power for Kelly and the gang. More opportunities for patronage and cronyism … and a whole lotta’ ribbon cuttin’ ceremonies for Kristen to attend and take credit for. All the thing you love and defend. What’s not to like?

  • 2017-11-14 at 6:38 pm
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    Chris – just think, now that Ken Reid is gone, if we can just get Tom Dunn to step aside, Kristen and Kelly will have no constraints and can build their own International Airport with OUR taxes, and the entire Town will be none the wiser, except you and I of course. I’ll call you in an hour to coordinate comments for tomorrow.

    • 2017-11-15 at 2:41 pm
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      Don’t bother calling LF, I’m almost at your place already. I brought a bottle of Cab for dinner. The Shiraz from last weeks coordination lunch was rather tart. We still watching the game on Thursday? Are you coming here for that? We can super coordinate on the hunting trip this weekend.

  • 2017-11-15 at 9:30 am
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    Lawgh, I don’t need a civics lesson – you need a reading comprehension lesson. My letter has nothing to do with control of the airport and everything to do with taxpayer-subsidization of the airport. Yes, there is a tax on the aircraft at the airport and it is at a ridiculously low rate. The total amount paid on an aircraft may exceed the total amount paid on a car – thank you, Captain Obvious Chris Manthos – but my point remains – why is personal property tax on 1%’s toys so low when Joe Sixpack’s are so high? As to the “economic benefit” to the county of the airport – PSHAW! That’s the same nonsense big business (like Amazon, the Redskins, etc) use to extort tax breaks from the county – which Joe Sixpack must make up.

  • 2017-11-15 at 2:44 pm
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    ” why is personal property tax on 1%’s toys so low when Joe Sixpack’s are so high?”

    I asked this same question awhile ago. The answer I got was that the personal property tax on aircraft was dropped as a personal favor / political payoff. A local billionaire wanted a lower tax rate on aircraft. A local Chairman of the Loudoun County Board wanted fundraisers with millionaires in attendance. She (billionnaire) hosted the fundraiser and he (chairman) dropped the tax rate.

    A 1 cent rate is completely RIDICULOUS.

  • 2017-11-16 at 12:03 am
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    Ah yes David, this would be my friend with her two story condo overlooking DC that has more art on the walls that could buy 10 Airport Hangars, and memorabilia that could payoff all the previous debt. I also understand she has numerous other oohlala homes spanning the world. I don’t want to get too deep, but I do understand now why Kelly and Kristen protected the Airport, so fiercely. What I will not accept is Kelly continuing to allow the Airport to operate with Town Tax dollars while the elitists, the ones who use the Airport, skate on paying for its full use.

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