|(c) 2011 ATA|
The Air Transport Association (ATA) urged lawmakers to drop proposals to increase aviation passenger taxes to address the national debt limit, saying that hiking aviation taxes would slow economic recovery, further burden customers and cost jobs.
“We oppose any increase in aviation passenger taxes,” ATA President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said. “The industry already pays more than its fair share of taxes – more than alcohol and tobacco, products that are taxed at levels to discourage their use. Today on a typical $300 round-trip ticket, passengers already pay $63 in taxes and fees.”
The industry’s non-income tax burden has grown from $3.7 billion in 1993 to approximately $17 billion now. In 2010, U.S. airlines and their passengers contributed $3.4 billion in taxes and fees to the Department of Homeland Security, including $2 billion in taxes and fees to the Transportation Security Administration – a 50 percent increase from the amount collected in 2002.
“No other industry or mode of transportation pays for its security as airlines do, even though it is clear that the terrorists targeting commercial aircraft are not attacking the airlines themselves but rather the U.S. economy and our way of life,” Calio said.
“This is absolutely unacceptable; we should advance a tax policy that encourages air service to grow, not contract,” added Calio. “Airlines are critical to the nation’s economic health. Commercial aviation drives $1.2 trillion in economic activity and more than 5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product each year -- and is responsible for 11 million jobs. Every 100 airline jobs support about 388 jobs outside of the industry.”
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 11 million U.S. jobs.