ATLANTA, March 22, 2013 – A proposal considered this week in the U.S. House would double the security tax passengers pay when they fly – from $2.50 to $5 per flight.
Should the increase take effect, air travelers would pay more than more than $700 million in additional taxes annually, according to Airlines for America (A4A), an airline industry association that represents U.S. airlines. That’s on top of the $2.3 billion travelers currently pay each year in taxes.
Instead of raising additional taxes, the organization wants Congress to increase the operational efficiency of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). According to A4A, air travelers pay $18 billion annually because of 17 different taxes the federal government levies.
“We cannot continue to put more taxes on airline passengers, who already pay more than $60 in taxes on a typical $300 round-trip ticket with this disappointing and short-sighted approach that ultimately will discourage business travel and tourism,” A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said in a Friday statement. “We support building on the good work of Administrator John Pistole to create more efficiencies at the TSA – not add more taxes to customers who are already overburdened.”
Currently, air travel is taxed at a federal rate that is higher than alcohol and tobacco, which are taxed to discourage use, A4A said. The airline organization said it favors programs such as TSA Pre Check and Known Crewmember, which allow TSA to better allocate its resources.
The security tax increase was included in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget approved this week by the House Budget Committee.
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