April 28, 2012

Warren Buffett’s NetJets Spent $1 Million Lobbying To Cut Fees For Its Wealthy Clients

The elite who utilize private jets will continue to pay less taxes.

Warren Buffett is best known in political America for his advocacy for taxing the wealthy at a similar rate to the rest of Americans. President Obama crafted the “Buffett Rule” after the idea that it’s wrong, as Buffet frequently says, for a billionaire like him to pay a lower income tax rate than his secretary.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that Buffett’s NetJets — a private jet rental and ownership company that is owned by his Berkshire Hathawayspent $1 million to lobby Congress to win a fee waiver from Congress.

Right now, the Federal Aviation Administration is funded partially by fees from airlines. Commercial airlines shoulder the largest portion of these fees. NetJets lobbied hard to change its classification to a noncommercial airline to avoid paying a larger bulk of fees.

The Wall Street Journal’s Brody Mullins estimates that NetJets and other private plane companies would save $83 million over four years thanks to this tax break. Watch Mullins explain how NetJets did it:


NetJets was also sued by the federal government recently for millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.