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three very interesting and curious results which would flow from the passage of this bill.
In the first place, if the airport were owned and operated by the State, no Federal or municipal sales taxes could be validly collected.
In the second place, if it were owned and operated by a municipality, no Federal or State sales taxes could be collected. Remember, this not only covers gasoline, but any type of personal property.
Third: If it were owned and operated by a public authority not itself having the power to tax, neither Federal, State nor municipal sales taxes could be collected.
At this point I must say I am extremely curious to know, for example, how a municipality can by contract with the Federal Government deprive the State of its power of taxation.
Moreover, in the case of an airport owned and operated by the State, the bill would purport to require an agreement by the State that it would not levy taxes upon sales of aviation gasoline to particular carriers at particular airports. I am curious as to whether one legislature can bind a future legislature on this point, and also whether such a discriminatory exemption would be valid under any State constitution.
And as a tax-paying citizen, I am concerned about special tax treatment of an industry which one of its leaders admits accounted for only 16 percent of the landings and take-offs at the airports in the United States in the year 1947.
In conclusion, gentlemen, I can only say that these are but a few of the points which illustrate the vices of the bill which is before you. If it be passed, I would recommend that the Port of New York Authority not seek to participate in the Federal airport-aid program. I believe that the bulk of the large airports in the United States would be compelled to take the same action. Such action would mean serious cut-backs in all of our airport-development programs with resulting harm to the development of air transportation as an essential part of our peacetime economy and a tremendous force for our defense in time of war.
At this point, I would like to refer to some comments which have been made in earlier remarks about the Airport Operators Council. I hope the chairman will permit me to say that I hope the committee will not take seriously the reference that the Port of New York Authority has been organizing the large airports of the country in order to work for the detriment of scheduled air transportation, and that is what was suggested this morning. I am sure that the chairman will appreciate that the Airport Operators Council, which is an association of the 20 largest airports of the country and on which we have Clarence Young, former member of the Civil Aeronautics Board, who is now director of airports for Los Angeles, and Mr. Inwood, director of aeronautics for Kansas City, and Colonel Dallin, who will speak to you later, as chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics of the City of Philadelphia, Maj. Jack Berry of Cleveland, who has been in this airport business for 25 years, Commissioner Hewitt of the Department of Public Works of Chicago, and many other of the finest and oldest names in aviation as members. I am sure that the chairman and the committee will recognize that those men are not permitting anyone so new in this business as the Port of New York Authority to influence them in their action.
I should, Mr. Chairman, appreciate an opportunity to file my copy of the constitution and bylaws by mail for the record of the Airport Operators Council so that the record may show its purposes and organization and objectives.
Mr. HALE. The committee will be glad to receive such a statement. (The document referred to above is as follows:)
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF AIRPORT OPERATORS COUNCIL
1. Name.-The name of the association shall be Airport Operators Council. 2. Purposes.—The purposes of the council shall be to exchange information relative to airports and to encourage and promote such policies in connection with the financing, construction, operation and development thereof, as may best serve the public interest and the development of air transportation.
3. New members.- New members shall be elected to membership in the council by a majority vote of the board of directors.
Any public and governmental department, board, commission, agency, authority, organization or body, whether incorporated or unincorporated, owning or operating one or more airports shall be eligible for election to membership in the council: Provided, That the number of commercial aircraft movements at such airport or airports, during 12 consecutive calendar months out of the 15 calendar months immediately preceding its election to membership, shall equal or exceed 1 per cent of all commercial aircraft movements at all airports within the continental limits of the United States.
4. Officers.—The officers of the council and their duties shall be as follows:
A president who shall be the chief executive officer of the council, and who shall act as chairman at meetings of the council and of the board of directors.
A first vice president who shall act in the place of the president in the event of his absence or other disability.
A second vice president who shall act in the place of the president in the event of the absence or other disability of both the president and first vice president.
An executive secretary whose salary shall be determined by the board, who shall keep the minutes of the council and of the board of directors, who shall have charge of the moneys and books of account of the council and who shall perform such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by the council or the board of directors.
A general counsel who shall keep informed regarding pending legislation and litigation of general interest to the members of the council and shall from time to time advise the officers and directors regarding the same.
All officers except the executive secretary and general counsel shall be elected at the annual meeting of the council, for terms expiring at the next annual election of officers, except that if no annual meeting is held in any year, they shall be elected by correspondence as hereinafter provided.
The executive secretary and general counsel shall be appointed by the board of directors for such time as the board of directors may deem fit, such appointments being subject to revocation at any time.
5. Directors.—The council shall have a board of directors which shall have power to take any action on behalf of the council not inconsistent with the constitution and bylaws or with the resolutions adopted by the council: Provided, That they shall have no power to levy assessments against members, and no power to obligate the council beyond funds on hand or receivable.
The board of directors shall consist of four ex-officio members and two elective members. The president and the two vice presidents shall be ex-officio members, as shall also the person who held the office of president during the preceding year. The elective members of the board of directors shall be elected at the annual meeting of the council, for terms expiring at the next annual election of directors, except that if no annual meeting is held in any year, they shall be elected by correspondence as hereinafter provided.
6. Annual meeting.—The annual meeting of the council shall be held at such time and place as may be determined by the board of directors, preferably but not necessarily during the month of April. Written notice thereof shall be mailed or delivered to each member of the council at least 30 days prior to the date set for such meeting, but the failure of any member actually to receive such notice shall not render the holding of the meeting invalid.
7. Special meetings.-Special meetings of the council may be held at the call of the president. Special meetings may also be held upon the call of the executive
secretary if requested in writing by five members of the council. Notice of special meeting shall be given as above described for annual meetings, but the failure of any member actually to receive such notice shall not render the holding of the meeting invalid.
8. Required quorum.-- Five members of the council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any annual or special meeting of the council.
9. Voting and privileges of the floor.-The vote of a member shall be cast at a regular or special meeting of the council only by the holder of a written proxy authorizing the holder thereof to cast such vote on behalf of such member. Such proxy may be either (a) a general proxy, authorizing the holder thereof to act for such member upon all matters before or in connection with such meeting; or (b) a limited proxy, authorizing the holder thereof to cast the vote of such member in a particular manner with respect to one or more particular matters.
Only the members represented at a meeting by holders of general proxies shall be counted in counting a quorum; but in determining the result of any vote, the votes cast by the holders of special proxies, as well as of general proxies shall be counted.
The holders of general proxies (and in case of their absence or disability, their alternates) shall have and shall exercise at the meeting all rights of the members which they represent, including the right to make and second nominations and motions and the right to participate in debate. The holders of limited proxies (and their alternates) have the same rights, but only with respect to the particular matter or matters specified in their proxies.
The privileges of the floor (including the right to participate in debate, but not the right to make or second nominations or resolutions or to vote) may be extended to any other person or persons either by the presiding officer or by majority vote of the general proxy holders. 10. Dues and fiscal year.-Membership dues to the council shall be $1,000 per
The fiscal year of the council shall commence on April 1. 11. Nominating committee.-At the annual meeting of the council, a nominating committee shall be appointed by the president.
Nominations for second vice president shall be made by the nominating committee. The first vice president for the preceding year shall be deemed to be nominated for president and the second vice president for the preceding year shall be deemed to be nominated for first vice president. In addition, nominations for any office may be made by any member from the floor, but nominations made by members from the floor must be seconded.
The provisions hereof regarding the automatic nomination of the first and second vice president for the offices of president and first vice president, respectively, shall not apply to the election held at the first annual meeting of the council. The nominations for president and first vice president shall be made at said first annual meeting as for other officers.
12. Resolutions committee.—A resolutions committee shall be appointed by the president, at least 30 days before the annual meeting, if practicable, which committee shall be responsible for the preparation or review of all resolutions to be adopted at the annual meeting of the council.
13. Standing committees.—The council shall have the following standing committees which shall be appointed each year by the president of the council and which shall be composed of any individuals the president may deem desirable, but the chairmen of which must be commissioners, officers or employees of a member organization, and which, subject to the supervision of the board of directors, shall perform the duties herein enumerated for them and such additional duties as the board of directors may direct, and which shall have such number of members as the president may deem desirable:
I. Membership committee, which shall be charged with the duty of increasing the membership of the council, and shall advise the board of directors with respect to the qualifications, eligibility, and desirability of applicants for such membership.
II. Program committee, which shall be responsible for the business program for the annual meeting of the council.
III. Arrangements committee, which shall be responsible for all arrangements in connection with the annual meeting of the council, other than the business program.
IV. Committee on Federal aid, which shall collect the best available data relating thereto and shall advise members in regard thereto.
V. Committee on administrative practices, rates, and accounting, which shall collect the best available data relating thereto and shall advise members in regard thereto.
VI. Committee on customs, immigration, and Federal inspection services, which shall collect the best available data relating thereto and shall advise members in regard thereto.
VII. Committee on operating practices and procedures, which shall collect the best available data relative thereto and shall advise members in regard thereto.
VIII. Law committee, of which the general counsel shall be chairman and which shall from time to time call legislative and legal matters to the atten
tion of members for consideration by their respective legal representatives. 14. Amendments.- This constitution and bylaws may be altered or amended at any annual or special meeting of the council by a two-thirds vote of the members present. The board of directors may propose an amendment to the bylaws at any other time and the vote thereon may be taken by letter ballot. To take a vote upon any proposed amendment to the bylaws by letter ballot, the executive secretary shall mail to each member of the council, at his last known post office address, a copy of the proposed amendment with a ballot in suitable form. Members desiring to vote shall use the ballot forwarded by the secretary and shall indicate thereon their approval or disapproval of the proposed amendment. Each member shall have 60 days within which to return the ballot. Upon the expiration of the 60 days the president and secretary shall canvass the ballot and record the vote. . If the proposed amendment shall receive two-thirds of the votes cast by the members, provided that at least 10 votes are received, the amendment shall be deemed to have been adopted, otherwise it shall be deemed to have been rejected. The secretary shall announce by mail the result of any vote by letter ballot, and shall insert such result in the minutes of the council as having been taken at a meeting of the council held by correspondence as of the date on which the ballot was canvassed.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, however, if any proposed amendment is submitted to a vote of the members by letter ballot and a regular or special meeting of the council is actually held before the date on which such ballot is to be canvassed and such vote recorded (a quorum being present at such regular or special meeting), then all proceedings for the taking of such vote by letter ballot (including all votes cast for or against such proposed amendment) shall be and become void and of no effect, and the vote upon such proposed amendment shall be taken at such meeting.
15. Transaction of business by mail or wire.-For the purpose of transacting business, the members of the council and the board of directors may act not only at the meerings, but also by correspondence, and votes may be taken by mail, telegram, radiogram and any combination thereof except as otherwise provided in these bylaws.
No matter shall be submitted to the membership for a vote by correspondence unless authorized by the board of directors; and in all cases where a vote of the members is taken by correspondence, it shall be governed by the same rules as hereinbefore prescribed for taking votes by correspondence upon proposed . amendments to these bylaws.
In the case of the board of directors, if any resolution or other action be proposed by letter, telegram or radiogram to all members of the board, and shall be approved by letter, telegram or radiogram by a majority thereof, such resolution or other action shall have the same force and effect as though it had been adopted or taken by the board at a regular meeting thereof.
Mr. BUCKLEY. Now, of the 20 major airport operators who are members of the Airport Operators Council, several are represented here today in opposition to this measure. Others have asked me by telephone or wire to advise the committee that they oppose the bill. If the chair will permit, I should like to mention the names of these airport operators, read some of the telegrams, and file all of them for the record.
You have in the present regulations issued by the Civil Aeronautics Administration under the Federal Airport Act complete and unbiased protection for all airport users. Every project sponsor agrees to operate its airport on fair and resaonable terms and without unjust discrimination. The regulations have been designed to protect equitably all users of airports from abuse by airport operators. They do not seek to put the interests of one group of users above those of another, nor do they seek to put the interests of one class of airport operators above those of the others. They represent the compromise of views inevitable in the democratic process, after months of careful deliberations by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. They are today, we
. believe, a workable document which represents not the complete desires of any individual group by a synthesis of their interests on a workable basis.
To substitute for these regulations special-interest legislation will inevitably wreck the entire program of Federal airport aid. We urge, therefore, that this bill not be reported out and that you permit the executive agency charged with the administration of the Federal Airport Act to continue to resolve on a constructive basis the opposing interests of airport operators as a class and airport users as a class without benefit of legislation to serve the interests of a special group.
Now, I should like to call particular attention to the wire of the Commissioner of Public Works of the city of Chicago who asked specifically if I would read it and I am wondering if I may.
Mr. HALE. You may do so.
Chicago, the air crossroads of the Nation, is proud of its municipal airport. It has the honor of having served more air passengers in the last 5 years than any airport in the land. These air passengers originated from or were destined to every State in the Union. The Chicago airport served the Nation, yet Chicago taxpayers paid the whole cost of its construction. Chicago's local taxpayers, year after year, have subsidized commercial aviation. They have paid the loss in the operation of the municipal airport to serve largely the air travelers of the Nation and of the world. If air travelers should be subsidized, it is the obligation of the Nation.
House bill 6180 would compel Chicago to continue to subsidize. This bill, in addition, would compel such an unfair business practice that it should not seriously be considered. It advocates rates and fees which favor one class of transport operators, only the class called the scheduled operators, the large air lines, if you please.
This is in direct conflict with the rule of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, which says that airport charges should be fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory as to each class of service.
We believe that Chicago has a moral and legal right to establish charges against vendors of aviation gasoline and other goods at the time they enter the airport in return to the taxpayers for having established a place where such goods and gasoline can be delivered, vended, stored and used. Chicago contemplates airport service charges not directed toward any air transport operator, large or small, but rather against the vendor of such things as the air carriers elect to buy in furtherance of their business.
In no wise would the air lines pay such service charges out of their revenues. They would, of a certainty, arrange it so that their ticket sales reflected this along with other costs of doing business. In short, be they from Chicago, the East, West, North, or South of this country, or from overseas, the air passengers would be paying their fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory share of the cost of_maintaining a Nation-wide transport facility at Chicago.
This House bill seeks to saddle the cost wholly on local taxpayers. This bill, in its effect is unfair, unreasonable and inequitable. It will hinder rather than help aviation.
Oscar E. HEWITT,
Commissioner of Public Works of Chicago. (Further telegrams are as follows:)
CLEVELAND, Ohio, May 14, 1948. JAMES C. BUCKLEY,
Port of New York Authority: April 19 I requested Robert Crosser to vote against H. R. 6180. Your argument has my unqualified support and you may so quote me.
John BERRY, Commissioner of Airports.