Airlines for America (A4A) reports it brought its “no new air taxes” message directly to lawmakers and customers when they returned from Thanksgiving break through Reagan National Airport (DCA)- by handing out air sickness bags. The move is part of the A4A's Stop Air Tax Now campaign that includes airline customers and employees being urged to send letters in opposition to proposed tax to the White House and Congress.
A4A said will be leafleting the airport and handing out air sickness bags that carry the message: are higher taxes on air travel making you sick? The effort is aimed at encouraging travelers to contact Congress and the Administration about their opposition to increased air taxes as part of any budget agreement.
“Airline passengers already pay more than their fair share in taxes to the federal government,” said Nicholas E. Calio, president and CEO of A4A. “It’s unreasonable and unnecessary for budget negotiators to be looking to squeeze any more out of an already overtaxed industry and their customers. We understand the difficulty of the challenge they are trying to meet, but respectfully suggest they look elsewhere to plug the budget hole.”
A4A notes the aviation industry is a vital economic engine that supports 10 million jobs and $1 trillion in economic activity annually, yet is severely overtaxed. Since 1990, the number of aviation fees has increased from six to 17 and the total amount paid has grown from $3.7 billion to $17 billion.
Over the past four decades, the tax burden on a typical $300 round-trip ticket has nearly tripled from $22 to $61. Air travel is actually taxed at a higher federal rate than “sin” products like alcohol and tobacco, which are taxed to discourage use, A4A says.