I am deeply frustrated by the legislation currently up for debate in the N.J. Senate to fund the Transportation Trust Fund. Though I don’t argue that our infrastructure needs to be improved, the solution should not be a tax increase on New Jersey’s viable and competitive aviation industry.

If enacted, this tax increase would deeply hurt the thousands of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers members at Newark Liberty International Airport who I have worked with for 27 years, and the customers we proudly serve.

We are proud to be a part of New Jersey’s robust and growing aviation industry and oppose legislation that would make it more challenging to support good-paying, high-skilled jobs at and around Newark Liberty and other airports in the state.

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Senate Budget Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo, the plan’s sponsor, says “We’ve been elected to lead and not to kick the can down the road any longer.” I completely agree, but it’s unnecessarily hurtful to New Jersey’s aviation industry to saddle us with the cost when airlines already make substantial investments to our economy.

For the unions, residents and businesses that make up New Jersey’s aviation industry, lawmakers in the Senate must stop this tax hike before it’s too late and ensure that we continue to thrive and create economic opportunities for the many others, like myself, who have benefited from the industry.