Germany cannot arbitrarily close its budget gap on the backs of the U.S. airlines and their passengers who already pay taxes at excessive rates, Airlines for America (A4A) argued in its legal complaint to reject a German Air Transport Tax.
A4A says the tax illegally penalizes carriers serving the country by taxing U.S. airlines the maximum amount of 45 euros (US$59) per passenger.
The tax, which went into effect in January 2011, charges airlines with U.S. flights the highest of three tax brackets imposed by the scheme.
"While A4A and its members have complied with the tax under protest, they now are pursuing legal action because the tax violates several long-standing international agreements, including the Chicago Convention, the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement and the German Constitution," A4A said.
A4A facilitated the filing of the legal complaint with the German Fiscal Court in Kassel. "This is a short-sighted cash grab that will do more harm to the German economy than any short-term benefit that the tax revenue may bring the country’s coffers,” A4A said.
A4A said it will file a detailed complaint with the German Fiscal Court within the next two months at the same time it urges a referral of the case to the German Federal Constitution Court.