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Hanna working on lowering corporate tax rate to fund transportation

Tom Magnarelli
Cortland County Airport.


Rep. Richard Hanna (R- Barneveld) was in Cortland Friday talking about aviation infrastructure, but solving any of those issues will be tied to extending federal transportation legislation, set to expire at the end of July.


David Keck is the director of flight operations and the chief pilot for McNeil & Company which leases a hangar at the Cortland County Airport. Keck said his biggest concern about the airport is the infrastructure.


“We can't operate out here during the wintertime," said Keck. "Six months out of the year we move our operations to Ithaca because of the length of the runway. It's because of the contamination of the runway that we can't get in or get out of this airport.”


The current runway is 3,400 feet which Keck said is too short. A more ideal length for takeoffs and landings in snow and sleet would be 5,000 feet. Airport runways are funded through federal transportation legislation. The House of Representatives recently passed an extension of transportation legislation until December but a long-term plan is needed. The bill is funded through the federal gas tax but that alone is not enough.


Credit Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News
Congressman Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) (left)

Congressman Hanna is working on bipartisan legislation to fund the highway bill by lowering the corporate tax rate which Hanna said is the highest in the world at 35 percent.


“The notion is to lower that rate, make it so that it's attractive for them to bring back that money," Hanna said. "Build, grow, spend here. Part of that money would be used to pay for a long-term highway bill.”


Hanna said the legislation is being held back by the House Committee on Ways and Means who want to tie in the proposal to overall tax reform. Hanna said passing that with a presidential election looming is unlikely. The House transportation bill would run out on December 18th

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.