Lincoln Airport Authority Won't Ask for Tax Levy

Property valuations throughout the city are up, raising the possibility that Lincoln property owners will pay more in taxes to the city and county governments, Lincoln Public Schools and other taxing authorities.

One agency that won't have its hand out is the Lincoln Airport Authority. In the authority's budget, adopted this week, there is once again no use of the tax levy the authority is authorized to make.

For the 20th year in a row, the airport expects to make enough money from its operations - leasing of property on the airfield and in the adjacent industrial park, fees for using runways and taxiways, and advertising and parking - to meet its financial obligations.

"The airport continues to be a tremendous asset to the community, and the fact that it is self-supporting makes it one of the best bargains local taxpayers get," airport director John Wood said.

It's unknown how common it is for an airport authority to forgo a tax levy, but among those joining Lincoln and Omaha's Eppley Airfield in doing so are airports in Louisville, Ky., and Green Bay, Wis.

The budget for the authority is $27.8 million and covers all airport operations and capital spending through June 30, 2007. The budget includes just more than $3 million in anticipated grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The authority's board Tuesday also approved two applications to the FAA for grants totaling $1.97 million for airfield maintenance and improvement work, as well as terminal building modifications.

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