Letter: George Boras, Ashburn

Editor: I’d like to address Gary Kowalski’s letter about the Leesburg Airport. It appears that Mr. Kowalski knows very little about the economics of the airport and suffers from a bit of “have not” jealousy. He claims that the airport is “little more than a place for the 1 percenters to park their expensive airplanes.” I bought my first airplane in 1999 for $18,000, ($26,266 in today’s dollars). You can’t buy a nice car at that price. Many of the airplanes at Leesburg are owned by partnerships where individuals pool their money enabling them to own more capable airplanes. Most are certainly not 1 percenters but rather Joe six-packs who prefer flying as a hobby. What’s wrong with that?

I owned three aviation businesses in Loudoun County for 18 years. I employed hundreds of pilots bringing in several hundred million in revenue to be taxed by the county. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on fuel and maintenance at the airport. More tax revenue for the town. Had Leesburg airport not been here, I would have had my business in Manassas.

I will agree on one point. The town does not need to spend significant amounts of money for airport improvements. There is indeed a shortage of hangars at Leesburg.  The town should work with industry to develop hangars and businesses on the airport. Let industry build hangars, and aviation office space at the airport for reasonable land leases. I would have had my businesses on the airport had there been space available, more tax money for the town. When the tower is permanent at Leesburg, many more charter and corporate aircraft will be able to utilize the airport. The town should allow private companies to build the hangar facilities to house those aircraft and businesses.

Mr. Kowalski complains about the difference between car tax rates and airplane tax rates. While Joe six-pack pays a higher tax rate for his car, he also requires significantly more in infrastructure than the pilots at Leesburg.

Finally, Mr. Kowalski complains about not being able to pick where his tax money is spent. I pay significantly more property tax than most people in the county. Sixty-eight percent of my property tax goes to public schools that my three children did not attend. I’d sure like to see my tax dollars spent on the airport but instead I’ve been paying for your kids to go to school.

George Boras, Ashburn

2 thoughts on “Letter: George Boras, Ashburn

  • 2017-11-24 at 9:27 pm

    George – I was right there with Gary on many points in previous comments sections and you folks are not getting a free pass as you are just part of the problem, but obviously trying to protect your friends in regards to the greater systemic financial issues. You are correct on some matters and also very, very wrong….. The taxpayers of Leesburg have and always will be subsidizing the Leesburg Airport for YOUR use. You do not live in Leesburg, hence our problem! Our leaders in Leesburg stated that they want to educate us, the Leesburg Residents, about the benefit of the Airport. They didn’t say how. I suppose they believe we are too stupid to understand that not only you, but billionaires and millionaires, and some hobbyists, use the Airport, which can’t turn a profit, let alone pay for its own use nor repairs. The taxes you reference should include landing and other fees to help offset continuing deficit costs, but Kristen, Kelly, and other folks in Loudoun and Leesburg well before them, have aided in abusing us normal folks financially. They have never managed the Airport properly to break even nor plan for the future to put money into a piggy-bank for the future maintenance (this is exactly identical to the in lieu of parking fees of over 6K per space that the EDC Steering Committee, with 2 Town Council Members on the committee, is trying to do away with, which will leave future town residents funding for massive garage repair/replacement projects – Campbell and Martinez are idiots!). The Airport does not financially benefit Leesburg exclusively, and Kelly Burk and many others want to maintain control, while it should be in the hands of Loudoun County or someone who can properly manage it…… The Town could just sell the Airport property for a hefty sum of money, let Development move in and get instant tax revenue, and bam, problem solved with the Airport financial problems. I applaud you for being successful, the folks you’ve employed, the taxes you’ve paid, etc. Realizing the massive estate you live in, the private schooling your kids have been afforded, etc. You have done quite well, but your on-going success has done nothing to help the overall financial failure of the Leesburg Airport. BTW – I support your fight to use your tax dollars for your kids education. Different subject for a different day…..

  • 2017-12-06 at 9:09 am

    Reading fail, Mr. Boras. I never complained about being able to direct my tax dollars – my letter specifically mocked those that do – as I previously stated, the last time it was proposed that tax rates be increased on aircraft, the Leesburg Airport Commission demanded that any raise be dedicated to airport improvements. So you bought your first aircraft for $26K in today’s dollars, so what? You still only pay 1/420 the rate that I pay on my $26K car (and yes, you can buy a nice car for that price, contrary to your way of thinking; I guess you ARE a 1-percenter). So you business brought in hundreds of millions in revenue to be taxed; again, so what? Those aircraft should still be taxed at a comparable rate to cars. Personal aircraft ARE luxury items – much more so than cars.

    Gary Kowalski

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