Airport Not Paying Its Fair Share
Every time the Airport Authority tries to dig itself out of a public relations hole, it digs itself in deeper.
Airport member Don Delauter said in The Pilot, “To begin, it is important to emphasize that from the standpoint of day-to-day operations, the airport is a self-sustaining enterprise. This means that — unlike other county agencies — the airport does not depend on Moore County taxpayers to finance operations.”
When Whispering Pines Mayor Bob Zschoche responded that the county gave the airport more than $150,000 for its operations, airport chairman John Owen responded, “We reiterate that the day-to-day operations of the airport are paid for by funds generated by those operations.” But then he started digging the hole deeper when he said, “Some funding from the county is used to help to retire the debt on new hangars.”
Oops? Retire the debt on the new hangars? I thought that the airport rented out the hangars to private airplane owners. Isn’t the rent from these owners enough to pay the mortgage?
Sadly, the answer is no. Last year the rental income from the hangars was approximately $74,000. The mortgage payment was a hefty $171,999.26. The loss of $97,999.26 was, according to the airport chairman, paid with Moore County tax dollars. This would appear to mean that the owner of a million-dollar-plus airplane is paying 43 percent of the mortgage for his hangar, and the taxpayers are paying 57 percent of the mortgage. Sounds like taxpayer subsidized housing for the rich.
Robert “Skip” Gebhardt
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