The Schaumburg Airport Boondoggle

Published August 21, 2008

Dear Editor:

As a Schaumburg resident and taxpayer I am quite displeased to see the village committing more taxpayer money to a failing government boondoggle (“New hangar back in plans for Schaumburg Airport” August 13).

According to Schaumburg’s 2007 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the Schaumburg Regional Airport has cost Schaumburg taxpayers more than $5 million in only the past four years. Schaumburg taxpayers are paying more for the airport than those who are using the airport ($4.5 million).

Additionally, a special property tax exemption for the airport means the rest of us have to pay a higher share to support our essential community services, including our schools, roads, police, and fire services.

The Village of Schaumburg should be looking to minimize the cost to taxpayers by raising airport hangar fees or selling the airport outright. If there truly is “about 100 aircraft owners on the waiting list,” why not let them pay for the design and construction of new airport hangars? With the current economic downturn, real estate crisis, and now one of the highest sales tax rates in the country, this is no time to force beleaguered taxpayers to subsidize wealthy airplane enthusiasts.

If it were not for its misguided policies, the village-owned Schaumburg Airport would likely have been sold and replaced by more sustainable inhabitants years ago. Soaking the taxpayers again and again to operate and expand Schaumburg Regional Airport is exactly the opposite of smart planning for our village.

Brian Costin ([email protected]) is assistant director of government relations for The Heartland Institute.