Airlines for America (A4A), expressed strong opposition to a provision within the Senate-passed budget resolution, which immediately doubles, and eventually triples, the TSA passenger security tax.
The proposed tax impacts airlines, passengers and shippers, A4A said, who collectively paid a record $2.3 billion in TSA taxes and fees last year and already pay more than their fair share of federal aviation taxes.
"Airlines and their passengers paid nearly $19 billion in federal taxes last year alone, and today roughly $61 of a typical $300 roundtrip ticket goes straight to Washington in federal taxes,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.
A4A also criticized a TSA passenger tax proposal from House Republicans, also passed last week. The Senate is controlled by Democrats. The two budgets will have to be reconciled before becoming law.
“TSA’s budget has increased 18 percent since 2007 while the number of passengers carried by U.S. airlines fell 4 percent. We believe there is opportunity to achieve greater efficiencies – without greater taxes – and we look to further partner with TSA and the Administration on expanding risk-based security options that improve safety, security and efficiency," Calio said.
The budget resolution passed by the Senate doubles the TSA passenger security tax to $5 per one-way trip, and triples the tax to $7.50 per one-way trip by 2017, costing airlines and their customers $2.5 billion annually over the next ten years.
A4A believes full implementation of programs that take a risk-based approach to security, such as TSA PreCheck for passengers and Known Crewmember for pilots and flight attendants will enhance security and screening efficiency and are a more appropriate way to help drive down TSA operating costs.