The U.S. Travel Association reports its opposition to the Obama administration's proposal to increase the Aviation Passenger Security Fee and divert a portion of the fees into the General Fund. The Air Transport Association (ATA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) have also opposed the new tax.
"Any increase in travel fees should be directly reinvested in improvements to our nation's travel system and infrastructure," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "We strongly oppose the Obama Administration's proposal to take money that should be used to improve the travel process and instead divert it for non-travel purposes."
The Administration's proposal would increase the fee to a minimum of $5, with annual incremental increases of 50 cents from 2013 to 2017, resulting in a fee of $7.50 in 2017 and thereafter. It would direct $15 billion to be deposited into the General Fund for debt reduction, with any additional revenues in excess of this amount being applied as offsets to the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) discretionary appropriations.
With a projected growth in air passengers, the need for new technology and upcoming initiatives like a risk-based trusted traveler program, increased funding will be required for the TSA, U.S. Travel said. "Any increased financial burden on travelers should directly fund a better, safer and more efficient travel experience."