Airlines Fight More TSA Passenger Taxes

Airlines are opposed to a House Budget Committee proposal that would double the security tax from $2.50 to $5 and would cost airline passengers more than $700 million annually.

Airlines for America (A4A), the airlines trade group, urged Congress to consider further efficiency within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – not further taxes on airline passengers.

The new tax was proposed to help finance the TSA in the fiscal year 2013 budget passed by the House Budget Committee.

“Ironically, a budget proposal aimed at driving economic growth would in fact undermine it through this provision,” A4A said.

Programs that take a risk-based approach to security, including TSA Pre Check and Known Crewmember, which enable TSA to focus its resources on greater threats, are a more appropriate way to improve efficiency within the TSA, which has seen its staff size increase by 400 percent in the last decade, A4A said.

“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,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.

“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.”
Airlines and their customers today pay 17 different federal taxes totaling $18 billion annually, and air travel is taxed at a federal rate that is higher than alcohol and tobacco, products taxed to discourage their use, A4A said.